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Cut to funding for youth services in Galway ‘blunt and short–sighted’

19 March, 2013


Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin, has criticised the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for her decision to bring about a retrospective cut in funding of ten per cent to youth projects under the remit of the Youth Work Ireland Galway Service.
The Galway West Senator was speaking during the course of Seanad debate in which he called on the Minister to reconsider the decision, and to consult with the local body. He has now called on all Galway senators and TDs to attend a meeting with Youth Work Ireland Galway this Friday to discuss their concerns over the decision.
“The work that Youth Work Ireland Galway does in supporting local community and voluntary youth groups is indispensable, and I believe that this decision is deeply regrettable. They have their roots in the voluntary sector, having grown out of the youth club movement and have been serving the people of Galway since the 70s
“The decision to cut the budget does not seem to have been thought through, or properly flagged up to the organisation. They had been led to believe that there would be a cut of 6.5% as oppose to the ten percent now being implemented. While 6.5% was a substantial cut and would create considerable difficulties for Youth Work Ireland Galway in maintaining their services, they had budgeted and allowed for it.”
“Therefore, understandably, they were shocked and dismayed by the recent news that their allocations from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs were being cut retrospectively by 10% from 1 January 2013. They believe that the 10% cut in funding will lead to a member of staff being laid off and consequently the removal of supports to 12 voluntary youth clubs, 153 youth leaders, 464 young people as well as the only child protection awareness trainer in Youth Work Ireland Galway.”
“Given the essential work that they do, they deserve better than a blunt cut such as this communicated in such a bad way.”
Senator Ó Clochartaigh also questioned the rationale for removing the administration of their funding from Youth Work Ireland national office to a Dublin VEC organisation, the City of Dublin Youth Service Board, closely linked with a body which was responsible for the SUSI fiasco.
“Throughout most of 2012, they were led to believe that if a transfer from Youth Work Ireland were to happen it would be to the local Galway city or county VEC, which again raises questions about communication with the local body and how effective the City of Dublin Youth Service Board will be in supporting the administration remains to be seen.”
“The work that these groups do with young people is, I believe, an investment in the future and I think it is very short sighted to make such a cut in funding. The Minister should reconsider this decision, and begin consultation with the Galway organisation to see whether we can avoid jeopardising any employment or the services they provide.”

Ciorruithe maoinithe do sheirbhísí óige i nGaillimh místuama agus mícheart
Tá cáineadh déanta ag an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin, ar Aire na Leanaí & Gnóthaí Óige mar gheall ar an gcinneadh atá glactha aici ciorrú siarghábhálach 10% a ghearradh ar na tionscnaimh atá faoi scáth seirbhís Óige na hÉireann Gaillimh.
Bhí Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar ag labhairt dó le linn díospóireacht Seanaid nuair a d'iarr sé ar an Aire athmhachnamh a dhéanamh faoin gcinneadh agus dul i gcomhairle leis an eagraíocht i nGaillimh. Tá sé anois ag iarraidh ar bhaill Oireachtais na Gaillimhe freastal ar chruiniú le Óige na hÉireann Gaillimh sa gcathair ar an Aoine beag seo, le n-éisteacht leis an imní atá orthu faoin athrú maoinithe seo.
“Ní féidir luach a chuir ar an obair éachtach a dhéanann Óige na hÉireann Gaillimh ag tacú le pobail agus grúpaí óige deonacha agus sílim gur céim ar gcúl atá sa gcinneadh atá fógraithe. Tá siad fréamhaithe san earnáil dheonach mar gur fhás siad as gluaiseacht na gclubanna óige agus iad ag freastal ar mhuintir na Gaillimhe ó na seachtóidí ar aghaidh"
“Ní dóigh liom gur déanadh machnamh mar is ceart ar an gcinneadh atá tógtha, ná níor cuireadh in iúl mar is ceart é don eagraíocht féin. Bhí siad den dtuiscint gur ciorrú de 6.5% a bheadh ann, seachas an 10% atá anois dhá chuir i bhfeidhm. Ba mhór an gearradh a bheadh i 6.5% féin, ach bhí an eagraíocht faoi reir le sin a iompar gan seirbhísí a ghearradh, in ainneoin na ndeacrachtaí a chruthódh sin ó thaobh buiséid di.”
“Dá bhrí sin, is furasta a thuiscint gur baineadh stangadh uafásach astu nuair a chuala siad ón Roinn Leanaí& Gnóthaí Óige go raibh gearradh siarghabhálach de 10% le cur i bhfeidhm. Creideann siad nach mbeidh de rogha anois acu ach ligean le fostaí amháin agus mar thoradh ar sin ar thacaíochtaí do dhá chlub óige déag, 153 ceannaire óige agus 464 ógánach, chomh maith leis an t-aon oiliúnaí feasacht cosanta leanaí sa chontae a chailleadh".
“Nuair a fhéachann tú ar thábhacht na hoibre atá ar bun acu tuigeann tú chomh míchóir is atá an chinneadh seo, gan trácht ar an mbealach místuama a cuireadh in iúl é".
Cheistigh an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh freisin an chiall atá le seirbhísí riaradh maidir le maoiniú na heagraíochta a bhaint don oifig Náisiúnta atá ag Óige na hÉireann chun é a bhronnadh ar fho-eagraiocht de chuid Coiste Gairmoideachais Átha Cliath, sin iad Bord Seirbhísí Óige Chathair Átha Cliath - a bhfuil gaol gairid acu leis an dream a rinne praiseach den chóras SUSI".
“Le linn 2012 thuigeadar dá n-aistreofaí na cúraimí seo ó Óige na hÉireann go dtabharfaí ar lámh é do Choiste Gairmoideachais Chathair nó Chontae na Gaillimhe, rud a ardaíonn arís cumas cumarsáide na Roinne sna gnóthaí seo agus beidh le feiceáil an mbeidh Bord Seirbhísí Óige Átha Cliath in ann ag an ualach breise oibre seo".
“Tá an obair a dhéanann grúpaí mar seo leis an óige mar infheistíocht sa todhchaí dar liom agus is droch bhuille iad na ciorruithe maoinithe seo. Ba chóir don Aire athmhachnamh a dhéanamh ar an gcinneadh agus comhráíii a thosú arís le heagras na Gaillimhe féachaint an bhfuil aon bhealach eile ann gan cur as d'fhostaiocht nó na seirbhísí riachtanacha a chuirtear i bhfeidhm".
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