First Progress Report on Plan to Improve Wellbeing and Safety in Drogheda Launched
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has published the first twice yearly progress report on the government’s plan to improve community wellbeing and safety in Drogheda and its surrounding areas Drogheda Implementation Plan Progress Report.
The update highlights the progress made on specific actions within the Drogheda Report Implementation Plan up to the end of June 2022.
The report, which Minister McEntee published, 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.
- €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.
Speaking on the launch of the progress report, Minister McEntee said, “the government is committed to building stronger, safer communities and 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 greatly encouraged by the progress we have made so far. Already, a number of urgent funding and resourcing needs have been met – we have provided more funding to the Red Door Project, which is a vital service for those affected by drug and alcohol use in Drogheda, which will help with, counselling, family support and additional harm reduction services 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.”
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.
The Community Safety Innovation Fund was established in April 2021 to reinvest proceeds of crime, as seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau, back into communities.
€2 million was allocated to it under Budget 2022, with 22 community projects to receive grants between €5,000 – €150,000 under this allocation.
And this will increase to €3 million next year under Budget 2023.
In addition, implementation of the plan is continuing and recent announcements, which fall outside the end of June 2022 timeline for this progress report, include:
- A new craft skills training hub will open early next year in Drogheda. As announced by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, it will provide training to approximately 336 apprentices each year and will also deliver 20 permanent jobs.
- Extended capacity at Drogheda Institute of Further Education through the development of a new flexible multi-purpose built tertiary education facility. The development in Drogheda will provide teaching spaces and other facilities, including community accessible spaces. The new facility will enable greater opportunities for more integrated planning and delivery locally and regionally.
- Serving the Navan areas and beyond by investing in Louth Meath ETB’s offices and site at Abbey Road in Navan – consolidating facilities and giving Youthreach a permanent, fit for purpose centre.