The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today, Monday 7th November, published the first biannual progress report on the Government’s plan to improve community wellbeing in Drogheda and its surrounding areas.
The Progress Report published today by Minister McEntee highlights progress against each of the actions in the Implementation Plan up to the end of June 2022.
Speaking on the launch of the Progress Report, Minister McEntee said:
“The Government is committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of the community in Drogheda.
Improving community safety is not just a matter of policing crime – it is about ensuring that the range of State and community services that contribute to people’s wellbeing are working together in a coherent manner. The cross-Government responsibility to deliver on the actions contained in the Drogheda report are clear – and I am encouraged by the progress we have made so far.
Already, a number of urgent funding and resourcing needs have been met – we have injected more funding into the Red Door Project, which is a vital service for those affected by drug and alcohol use in Drogheda.
Additional teachers have been provided to three schools identified in the Drogheda Scoping Report for a fixed term of 5 years, which will provide the schools with stability in resources to develop their capacity to respond to the needs of students and provide for better outcomes in the medium and long-term.”
During the period covered by the Progress Report, many positive steps have been taken based on the recommendations of the scoping exercise including:
The report, which Minister McEntee published today, details progress against each of the actions in the Implementation Plan, showing positive progress made against actions around addressing crime, drug use, youth and community development and educational supports.
Several recommendations outlined in the Drogheda Scoping Report have been progressed, including:
- The provision of €230,000 across 2021 and 2022 to the community-based Red Door Project for addiction services
- The allocation of additional teachers to three primary schools in Drogheda by the Department of Education
- Additional funding across 2021 and 2022 to the CABLE and Boyne Garda Youth Diversion Projects for delivery of vital services to young people at risk of offending. In 2021, the Department of Justice provided €530,000 in funding to the two projects including additional funding of €25,000 for Boyne and €66,000 for CABLE for the purchase of mini-buses. In June 2022, Boyne Youth Diversion Project was also allocated almost €75,000 under the Youth Justice Strategy, following CABLE receiving funding in a previous round.
- €15,000 Support for a preliminary site plan for the Moneymore Community Hub facility through the Dormant Accounts Fund and;
- €48,000 in funding from the Department of Justice towards the extension of kitchen and dining facilities for the Moneymore Childcare Centre, in order to continue providing meals to the 68 children from the local area who avail of their service.
A further action included in the Implementation Plan was to explore visible and practical ways of re-investing the proceeds of crime into community resources, which has been achieved through the establishment of the Community Safety Innovation Fund. Allocations to Drogheda-based projects through the new CSIF, announced on 17 October, include:
- a further €98,000 to the The Red Door Project to fund employment of a Prison Links Worker and;
- €150,000 to Foróige for their New Choices Project, which provide practical life-skills to early school leavers.
Whilst outlining the considerable progress that has been achieved to date the Progress Report also has a strong focus on the road ahead with updates on timelines and responsible bodies for each action within the Drogheda Implementation Plan. At a local level, the Drogheda Implementation Board is the core driver and co-ordinator of the activities outlined in the Plan, while the Department of Justice provides national oversight to ensure strategic direction, action planning and the delivery of the Drogheda Implementation Plan.
Michael Keogh, Independent Chair of the Drogheda Implementation Board said on the publication of the Progress Report:
“The publication of this Progress Report is an opportunity for the people of Drogheda to see the work that has been undertaken since the publication of Vivian Geiran’s Scoping Report last year. Not only does it outline what has been done, it gives next steps and timelines so that people can also see what will be done.
Government departments alongside local statutory and community agencies are continuing to work collaboratively on issues raised in the Scoping Report, and progress continues to be made on the delivery of actions since June 2022”
Minister McEntee added:
“I believe that the supports provided across areas such as youth services, health, further education and community development will have a meaningful impact on the quality of life for people in the town.
The collective, multi-agency approach to community safety adopted in Drogheda is at the heart of the great work that is happening there. We must continue that momentum as we focus on the road ahead and our goal of building a better future for all in Drogheda.”