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Burke - Government refusal to help Carmichael House a complete disgrace

17 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Christy Burke speaking from the City Centre this morning said there are growing concerns that Carmichael House will shut in the next two weeks following the refusal of Minister Noel Ahern to provide the finance which is required to keep the project going.

Councillor Burke said:

"Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups plays an invaluable role in the life of the community and provides an invaluable service for 45 small voluntary groups concerned with illness, social care, sport, education, the environment and disability. It is disgraceful that the government have refused to provide long term secure funding for a project that plays such an important role in the daily lives of the community and that it is now struggling for its very survival.

"Over the last few days we have listened to backbench TDs line up and waffle about the need to listen to what ordinary people are saying. What people are saying in this area is that Carmichael House needs help and the government need to do something about it.

"When it comes down to it Carmichael House needs 300,000 Euro a year from the Government, this is outside of the money which they raise themselves, and by any stretch of the imagination the service they provide is value for money. Last night the Health Department said they would come forward with half of the funding but Minister Noel Ahern has refused to give any further assistance to them.

"If it does not receive 150,000 Euro from Minister Ahern's department in the next two weeks then it will have to close its doors for good, resulting in a large number of CE schemes being shut down and nine staff being made redundant.

"I have been in touch with both Carmichael House and Minister Ahern this morning and have called on the Minister to support this project. There has been a lot of talk about inequality in the last few days but if the government stands by and allows such a valuable service to go to the wall it will not be forgotten by the people of this area."ENDS

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