Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has urged the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald to reverse the drastic cuts to youth services implemented by her department.
Speaking today from Leinster House, Senator Reilly said:
“At a time of mass unemployment and with educational opportunities out of reach of many young people, the funding for youth services should be increasing, not decreasing.
“One victim of the Minister’s programme of cuts is the Killbarrack Youth Project in Dublin. The severity of the cuts to the project forced members of the project to protest outside the gates of Leinster House during atrocious weather last week.
“The project has provided services to more than 500 young people in areas of economic, social and educational disadvantage for over 20 years.
“Between 70 and 90 young people attend the project on a weekly basis for peer education, healthy eating, sexual health, sports, art, drama and leadership courses.
“A recent meeting with the board of the CDYSB has led them to believe that they can no longer function or carry on with their work given the drastic decrease in funding.
“This lifeline project for Kilbarrack faces complete closure now due to further cuts.
“This is just one example of how the Minister is overseeing the destruction of many of the building bricks of support for children and young people to achieve that full potential in life. It is deeply unjust and desperately worrying for our communities.
“This government has a duty to protect our youth services, not cut them. I am urging the Minister Fitzgerald to reverse the cuts as priority.”