Minister of State with responsibility for Youth Justice, James Browne TD, on Wednesday morning met with the CEO of the Solas project, Amy Carey and Lead Youth Justice Worker Aishling Golden.

The Solas Rua project is based in Dublin 8 and works with young people who are at most risk of involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.  Solas Rua operates an intensive, 4-year programme of work with young people to support them making the transition to a more positive life, providing personal development and training opportunities and linking in with other relevant education and social services.

This meeting was an opportunity to discuss the challenges they encounter in their front-line engagement with young people. It also afforded the staff a chance to report on the new intervention models which they had developed, and which were launched by Minister Browne on 20 November 2020.

Following the meeting, Minister Browne said, “The work of Solas is particularly important in our efforts to divert vulnerable young people from a life of crime. Solas engages with children and young people who are most at risk of involvement in criminal activity. While this is a relatively small number of children, they are often the hardest to reach.

“An important aspect of the new Youth Justice Strategy will be to enhance the engagement with children and young people who are most at risk of involvement in criminal activity, principally by enhancing the services available through the existing 105 Garda Youth Diversion Projects”

“This work must include a strong focus on the hard-to-reach cohort. I met with Solas Rua today with my officials to learn from their experience. The lessons learned from the work of the Solas project will be important in developing more widespread provision for this group of young people and embedding this work across the entire network of community-based youth justice projects my Department funds.”

This meeting is one of a series of upcoming meetings between Minister of State Browne and groups working in the youth justice area. They provide an opportunity for front line organisations to share their experience and further inform policy making within the Department of Justice as the new Youth Justice Strategy nears publication in the coming weeks.