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Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative a success for local community - Crowe

23 February, 2007

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Social and Community Affairs Seán Crowe has welcomed the full launch of the Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative and congratulated the 23 partners in the CDI lead by Katherine Zapone for their untiring work in making this project a reality on the ground. Deputy Crowe went on to describe the initiative as a success for the local community.

Deputy Crowe said, "I welcome the announcement of government funding for this project co-sponsored by Atlantic Philantrophies, it has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of children and their families. The positive spin-offs for the whole community of West Tallaght will be immeasurable over time as local children get to live in a safer, happier and more empowering environment.

"Equally the other projects in Ballymun and Darndale/Bellcamp have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for the children, their families and the communities involved.

"The A Place for Children Project is a success for the 23 partners in the CDI, who as community leaders, residents as well as a range of locally based professionals in education, child care, social work and other disciplines pooled collectively their skills and time with the simple objective of forging a vision of a better future for the children of West Tallaght.

"This programme is not a success of government policy; it is rather a success in spite of the Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrat coalition who have been quick for the photo opportunity of glossy launches but slow to actually provide the matching funding needed to make this project a reality.

"More importantly the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme could become a template for a suburban based poverty strategy across the state, it offers us a model for future strategy where local communities directing the research agenda can put themselves in the driving set for formulating policies and solutions to tackle the problems, that deprivation and poverty create in our communities and neighbourhoods.

"The rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the programmes will ensure not just an efficient use of the funding provided but will also capture the information needed to replicate the learning and expertise developed in securing better quality of life outcomes for children.

"However we also need an early intervention model developed for inner city areas and rural communities also. The 2005 Combat Poverty study on Mapping Poverty showed that extremes of poverty and deprivation are found in Donegal, Leitrim and Mayo and so it makes sense to make the effort in tailoring these programmes for a rural context." ENDS

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