Closure of St Basil's a sad day - Crowe
Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has said that the closure of St Basil’s Training Centre in Tallaght was a sad day for educationalists and the wider Traveller Community.
The Tallaght based TD was speaking after attending a church service and function to mark the closure of St. Basil's Training Centre which had been in existence since 1981.
Deputy Crowe said “I wish to commend the dedication and hard work of everyone involved with St Basil’s, which catered for Travellers and was located on the Greenhill’s Road in the centre of Tallaght.
“Since it opened 31 years ago, St Basil’s has, with support from the VEC and the European Social Fund, provided essential training and education for the Travelling Community in premises provided by the local Parish. It offered a range of courses and programmes in literacy and numeracy, personal development, health and exercise, home economics, creative writing, swimming and first aid.
“St Basil's also provided information and support in relation to accommodation, health services, social welfare benefits, legal rights, various counselling services and further education and employment routes. Clinics were regularly held there and one of its key aims was to enable trainees to make informed decisions about their lives. It also provided services and support that greatly improved the prospects and life chances of thousands of people from the ~Travelling Community and the closure is a serious blow that will be keenly felt.
“The closure of St Basil’s is yet another example of how this Government continues to target vulnerable groups within Irish society and follows on from cuts that have resulted in the loss of 800 posts to Traveller Education at Primary and Post Primary levels, the loss of Visiting Teachers Service for Travellers and the phasing out of all senior Traveller Training Centres.
"St Basil's was an oasis of inclusivity for Travellers in Tallaght. It nurtured, enriched and supported thousands of Travellers over its 31 year existence and it's a sad day for educationalists and the wider Traveller Community." CRÍOCH