MEMBERS of Clare’s three Community Development Projects will this week march alongside their colleagues from across the country at Liberty Hall in Dublin having come out against the possible implementation of the McCarthy Report.
The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht (DCRGA) cut funding for Community Development Programmes by 15% this year and, if the recommendations of the McCarthy Report are implemented, “there will be widespread closures”, representatives of the three projects stated.
Clare Women’s Network, East Clare Community Support Ltd and Ennis Community Development Project supply support to a wide range of local groups.
There are 180 Community Development Programmes (CDPs) in the country funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affiars under the Community Development Programme National Development Plan.
Each year, they facilitate 21,950 days of volunteer work; provide support and services to 257,704 people; educate and train 30,697 people; employ 1,400 workers in addition to a core staff of 300, according to a statement by the groups in Clare.
CDPs are run by a voluntary management committee which includes representatives from the community. The project is also supported by volunteers.
CDPs countrywide are involved in a range of programmes including childcare, meals on wheels, after schools projects, youth groups, literacy and drug rehabilitation amongst others. They support the vulnerable people including children, lone parents, the elderly, young people, recovering drug addicts and the disabled.
“Since DCRGA cut funding by 15%, CDPs have been living on a knife edge; reducing staff, cutting hours and services. If McCarthy’s recommendation that funding for CDPs and local partnerships be cut by €44 million is implemented, schemes across the country will be forced to close,” a spokesperson for the Clare organisations stated.
“The implications of closures are stark. Disadvantaged communities will be further undermined and there will be consequences for crime, employment, training, education, and anti social behaviour,” the spokesperson continued.
To highlight the crisis facing CDPs Clare representatives will take part in a meeting and march on September 8, SIPTU, Liberty Hall, Eden Quay, Dublin 1, starting at 1pm.