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*ISSUE 23 28PG

11/18/07

4:56 PM

Page 7

ews feature

Deputy Mayor left school early

Doublesalary TERESA Wright has three jobs, as town councillor, county councillor and CDP co-ordinator and she gets paid for two. (One salary covers the two councillor positions). She accepts it is not a bad position to be in, but insists she is not in it for the money and holidays are a rarity. “I’ve experienced poverty. I was a ward of court from the age of 16 to 21 when I got married and in that time I never once saw a social worker. I am not saying you have to have lived through poverty to work in a CDP, but it helps, it means you are more likely to push harder at work,” she remarked. Unlike 19 of her colleagues on the County Council, who last year claimed €85,000 between them for attending conferences, Teresa (and one other councillor) claimed nothing in expenses for conferences. She said she rarely goes to conferences, unless they are to do with community development. Teresa receives allowances for attending meetings as is normal. changing ireland

“TO this day, and I was first elected in 1999, co-ordinator in 1999. In the same year, we people ask me the questions you’re asking,” were protesting about water charges and I remarked Teresa Wright when I enquired how became friends with Pat Rabbitte (former Labour she became a CDP co-ordinator and an elected Leader). He asked me would I for stand locally Councillor at the same time. Not to mention for election. Remember I did not have the job in Deputy Mayor. the CDP yet. Teresa’s parents died when she was 16, she “I thought why not, it would be good to have left school at that age to look after her two someone with an interest in community brothers and she went to development on the council. work in Waterford Foods We were always on the (now Glanbia). outside, with the council “We were always on the Also, at the age of 16, making decisions without Teresa was a founder outside, with the council consultation and I thought if I member of Dungarvan was elected that would Youth that ran every making decisions without change. Friday night in the old “When the interview for consultation and I town hall. Soon, the club the CDP job came up, I had wanted a new state-of-the- thought if I was elected begun canvassing in the art premises, they asked election, and the Department the local authority for that would change.” sent down two civil servants, land, borrowed €76,000 which was unprecedented for and got what they were looking for. a co-ordinator’s position, to join the interview Later, while a volunteer with the youth centre, panel. she went back to the books and studied for and “It was a run-of-the-mill interview, except one graduated with a Diploma in Youth and of the Department people kept asking me how Community Studies from UCC. could I be in the council and do my CDP work “I always felt that if you didn’t work with the at the same time. And would there be a conflict parents, there was not much point working with of interest. Well, I don’t see any conflict because the children or teenagers,” she asserted. I am on the council because of my community In the late ‘90s, the youth club – much interest. expanded and now also working with parents – “The CDP got €1million for childcare recently and the new €5 million County Waterford were granted funding to join the Community Resource Centre is based in Dungarvan: Development Programme. So Dungarvan Youth “Our management committee are very resource became the sponsors of the CDP for strong. Not one of them is in the Labour Party by two years The change was to mark a transition the way. I never make a decision without talking for Teresa from decades of volunteering to paid to the management committee and they would work in the community sector. be quick enough to tell me about it if I was Coincidentally, as the CDP began to advertise going wrong.” the co-ordinator’s job (part-time), Glanbia Would Teresa run for the Dail? made some of its workers redundant, including There was a sparkle in her eyes, but Teresa. After 25 years in the same job, she had for the first time during the to look around. interview she remained “I applied for the silent. job as CDP

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A model of the new County Waterford Resource Centre

an old saying: nothing free is ever appreciated

Profile for CHANGING IRELAND

CHANGING IRELAND 23  

Hot in Issue 23: MAIN STORY: TACKLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ‘We work with violent men’ (Waterford) Complaints about Code of Conduct on Domestic...

CHANGING IRELAND 23  

Hot in Issue 23: MAIN STORY: TACKLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ‘We work with violent men’ (Waterford) Complaints about Code of Conduct on Domestic...