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views on McCarthy


Rural transport dilemma

“One of the six CDPs in Co. Wexford provides 40,000 passenger trips per year, just over 60% of these trips are by people over 65 and many have no alternative transport available to access essential services, such as doctor and clinic appointments, getting to the post office and shopping,” said Project co-ordinator Marian Donegan outlining the potential impact of cuts on one CDP in County Wexford.

€35,000 bill for an “anti-rural” report

Cuts will cost us more

“In these days of uncertainty and attacks on disadvantaged communities and projects, it is really important that Community Development Projects engage, stand together and defend their national programme and the community sector,” said Rita Fagan, St. Michaels Estate Community Development Project (and Eastern Region CDP Network Core Group member) on October 12th.

Social price is massive

“The social price to be paid for the cuts will be massive and cost far more to put right,” said Samantha Kiely, chairperson of Our Lady of Lourdes CDP in Limerick city.

“You haven’t seen anything yet. We provide a very valuable service to those communities and this will be an ongoing sustained campaign,” said Martin Collins from Pavee Point Travellers Centre in Dublin as the fight against cutbacks kicked off in June.

Most difficult part

“The proposed cuts to Disability Services, CDPs, FRCs, and Rural Transport would effectively see the dismantling of Community Infrastructure that has been largely build up in a voluntary capacity over the past 15 to 20 years in Ireland. McCarthy’s report that he was paid €35,000 to deliver has in our opinion a huge Anti-Rural bias,” said Margaret O’Shea, Community Development Worker, Kerry Network of People with Disabilities

Engage, stand, defend

Ongoing sustained campaign

The cuts “will have the opposite effect of saving money for the exchequer in the long-term,” according to Abbeyfeale CDP’s Ed O’Connor whose employers have called on the Government to abandon plans to disband CDPs.

Energised and inspired

“The great thing about the Community Development Programme is that every project is diverse and they answer the needs of its own community, every project is locally managed by local residents and they come up with the solutions they need in their own communities,” said Niamh Hogan, Little Bray Family, Resource and Development Centre. “I felt energized and inspired by marching because I felt we were being forgotten about.”

“The most difficult part of these cutbacks are that they are targetting the most vulnerable in society, and we are determined to fight any planned closures,” said Tony Jordan, project coordinator of Ait na Daoine CDP in Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Left with no alternative

“The proposed cuts would be so substantial that we just wouldn’t be able to operate and unlike other urban areas, there are no alternatives here that people can avail of if a programme closes,” said Community Connections spokesperson, Hayley Fox-Roberts, in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. The CDP works across three border counties.

Passionate but starved

“We’re passionate about our communities but we’re slowly and surely getting starved of resources and we’re going back to the 1980s. We missed the Celtic Tiger. People are losing their jobs and soon they are going to have nowhere to go.” - Theresa McGouran, Markiewicz CDP, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

Community Development or Crime

“CDPs are at the heart of many communities in Wexford. They help to hold families and communities together. (If the cuts go through) there will be increased levels of anti-social behaviour and negative impacts on crime, employment, training and education,” said Catherine Brazil, on behalf of the County Wexford CDPs Network. The view was echoed in Monaghan where Blayney Blades, Drumlin CDP and Dochas for Women made a similar point.

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Hot in Issue 30/31: bumper Double Issue Community Development Programme to end after 20 years/ 180 projects: facing wind-up in 2010/ New Pro...


Hot in Issue 30/31: bumper Double Issue Community Development Programme to end after 20 years/ 180 projects: facing wind-up in 2010/ New Pro...