Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
Dublin North West
22 January 2016
Shock as ‘Young Ballymun’ child poverty programme asked to wind up operation – McAuliffe
Fianna Fáil leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr Paul McAuliffe has said he is baffled by the government’s request that Young Ballymun be wound down and closed when its current contract ends this June. The project co-funded by Atlantic Philanthropies is one of thirteen Area Based Childhood Poverty initiatives across the country.
Young Ballymun is an area-based Prevention and Early Intervention strategy working to improve outcomes in education, health and mental health for all children, young people and families in Ballymun. As a result the government has extended these projects to 10 other areas around the country.
Cllr McAuliffe added: “I really am baffled by this decision it defies logic to establish a model which has been internationally validated, to roll it out to other parts of the country and then to shut down one of the organisations who pioneered it. This project has been a real example of new thinking in evidence-based policy where agencies work together to deliver results for a community. This isn’t parish pump concerns this decision undermines and new way of policy making for the country.
“We all know early year interventions are key to changing young people’s lives and ensuring they have opportunities which their parent may not have had. I was delighted when last year these programmes were expanded to areas like Finglas and elsewhere so I am totally shocked that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has now written to Young Ballymun asking them how they plan to wind down the project and what arrangements they have in place for staffing and service provision.
“This decision comes on the back of cuts to the Ballymun Partnership, The Ballymun Men’s Centre, The Ballymun based mental health centre Tus Nua and many more. Fine Gael in government have made choices. They are not only unsupportive of helping those in need, they are actively hostile. They don’t believe in a fair society. Instead they would prefer to have US style taxes which benefit the wealthiest in society and which would leave nothing for important social projects like Young Ballymun.
“I am calling on James Reilly to immediately address this issue and reverse his department’s decision. He needs to come to Ballymun and explain to the community why this decision has been taken and his party candidates in the forthcoming election need to put pressure on him to do so.”