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Taoiseach confirms €2 Million to address issues raised in Ballymun A Brighter Future Report

An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin has confirmed an allocation of €2 Million to support initiatives and projects which will help address the issues raised in the Ballymun A Brighter Future Report.

In a letter to the North West Area Joint Policing Committee, An Taoiseach thanked all the groups in Ballymun who he visited earlier in the year and all the elected and community representatives who discussed the report with him.

The funding will be allocated to Dublin City Council and discussions are ongoing between the Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh OBrien and Dublin City Council's Chief Executive Owen Keegan who is fully supportive of this proposal and the opportunities the co-funding and the collaboration offers.

It is hoped that the funding will bring other agencies to the table, support changes to public spaces, improve community and sporting facilities and fund social inclusion measures.

Welcoming the funding Fianna Fail TD for Dublin North West Paul McAuliffe said this was an important sign of the personal commitment by the Taoiseach to the community and to tackling social exclusion.

While the figure of €2Million seems like a huge amount of money, the reality is the need is also vast and we will have to be very strategic about how the funding is allocated.

There are a couple of important people to thank for this announcement. It's been a long time in the process.

When we started to see the emergence of crack cocaine in the area a number of local voices bravely spoke out about the issue. They included Cumann Báire Setanta along with youth workers and many local voices ( too many to mention). In response I asked then opposition spokespeople from my party to meet with many of the local agencies working on the ground. In 2019 when I had the opportunity as Lord Mayor to select a special project, Dublin City Council asked Andrew Montague and Hugh Greaves of the Drugs Taskforce to draft the Ballymun A Brighter Future Report. He did a great job and created a clear list of asks for any future government.

The first meeting, I had with An Taoiseach was to discuss the report. Covid delayed us a bit but he still found time for local zoom meetings to keep the issue live.

In June of this year several local agencies welcomed him to Ballymun to hear about the issues on the ground about the need for more core funding and discussed the report in details. This also included elected TDs and Councillors from all parties and none, who made a strong case.

The Taoiseach's letter to Ballymun is really welcome, it gives us a pathway but there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to do with different agencies, their senior officals and an implementation team.

As we head into 2023 I look forward to that work and to addressing the very similar challanges in other parts of Dublin 9 Dublin 11. Its great to have some good news to end off the year.

Some of those involved along the way in making the case ( I'll forget someone) included, Dublin City Council Ballymun Office, AislingProject, Star Ballymun, Yap Ballymun, Bryr, Easystreets, Poppintree Youth, BLDATF, Ballymun Family Resource Centre, Axis, Youthreach, local schools, Innovate Communities. The Ballymun Jobs Centre, The DNWAP, Ballymun Gardai, and many many more. Andrew Montague for the report and all the local Councillors and TDs.

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