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Limerick’s communities call for all-party support and put 3-week deadline for step 1 of regeneration
rights, freedoms and repression |
Monday April 09, 2007 22:51 by Allen Meagher - 'Changing Ireland' and five city Community Development Projects from Limerick editor at changingireland dot ie 'Changing Ireland', c/o Community Enterprise Centre, Moyross, Limerick
- First time communities speak with one voice in Limerick
The five area-based Community Development Projects in Limerick City have called for all-party support for John Fitzgerald’s recommendations for improving life for people in the city’s disadvantaged communities.
Volunteers and workers from the five Community Development Projects also want the Government – before the Dail dissolves in three weeks or so – to set up the proposed Regeneration Boards on a statutory basis. They held a press conference in Limerick city centre today to press home their message.
Volunteers and workers from the five Community Development Projects welcomed the new report at a press conference held in Limerick City Hall at 1pm today (Friday). The report’s author sat alongside the groups as they made their appeals.
“We wholeheartedly welcome this report,” said Catriona McNamara, the chairperson of St. Munchin’s CDP on the city’s north-side. “It is fantastic, it will be the crown on Limerick city’s development when the disadvantaged communities are turned into places where people can enjoy the same quality of life as people elsewhere in Ireland.”
The statement – from Community Development Projects in the areas pinpointed in the report - calls for “a public commitment from each party to carry out all the recommendations in the report and without delay.”
The co-ordinator of Southill CDP, Nuala Rennison, on behalf of the communities, declared: “We are asking each political party to endorse the report in full and to publicly commit now – given the possibility they may be elected to government – to give it their every attention. We call on each political party to declare that the report’s recommendations will be funded without hesitation or delay. We will be writing to them to that effect.”
Helen Flanagan, chairperson of St. Mary’s CDP said the communities were united. “This call is being issued on behalf of the volunteers in Southill CDP, Community Development Network Moyross, Our Lady of Lourdes CDP, St. Munchin’s CDP and St. Mary’s CDP. They are all part of the national Community Development Programme which funds 180 CDPs nationwide,” she said.
The CDPs want work to begin immediately and in full consultation with community groups in each area.
“We are asking the current government to - to begin implementing without delay everything in the report that can be acted upon immediately,” said Kay Flanagan, development worker with Our Lady of Lourdes CDP, an area which includes the beleaguered Ballinacurra-Weston part of Limerick city.
“To begin with, we are today asking the Government to set up the new Regeneration Boards on a statutory basis and, most importantly, to do so in the next three weeks before the Dail dissolves.
Those recommendations which can be implemented within a matter of weeks should be implemented,” she added.
Allen Meagher of ‘Changing Ireland’ magazine in Moyross – who called the groups together – said: “Ballymun, Inchicore and Fatima Mansions in Dublin have successfully managed the regeneration of their communities. Limerick is ready to do the same and there is expertise on the ground to ensure the job is done right, so long as the authorities consult with our communities all the way. We’ll be watching to make sure they do.”
“It’s important,” Mr. Fitzgerald told the groups, “from the community point of view that you should keep up the pressure. I have been heartened by the level of political support and the support from the various Government departments and I’m struck by their acute awareness of the seriousness of the problems.
“After many years as a public official, I know of the horror of over-promising and creating unachievable levels of expectation. The relevant bodies know that these can be acted upon and must be acted upon for the sake of young children within these communities.
“And you who are at the core should keep up the pressure,” added Mr. Fitzgerald.
The united front presented by volunteers from the city’s five disadvantaged areas today was the first step to ensuring the communities get what is promised to them.