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Home > Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: community services - Kilbarrack-Foxfield community centre.

[Oireachtas] Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: community services - Kilbarrack-Foxfield community centre. (25 May 2011)

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Deputy Thomas P. Broughan:  
Almost 38 years ago the then President, Erskine Childers, laid the foundation stone for the Kilbarrack-Foxfield community centre on Greendale Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5, following years of fund-raising by local residents. With the help of the HSE, FÁS, local representatives including myself and the then Minister, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, a Kilbarrack aftercare community programme was developed from May 1996 and finally established in 1998. In January 2001, this project became the Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme, KCCP. Based in the Kilbarrack Foxfield community centre, KCCP has developed a wide range of impressive programmes to combat drug use and provide information and recreation for the young people of the parish.

Under the outstanding leadership of the retired Garda superintendent and chairperson, Mr. Michael Finn, Ms Marian Clarke and Mr. Declan Byrne, KCCP carries out this core work through a community employment programme which caters for more than 15 clients recovering from addiction problems. A wide range of activities including IT training, cooking skills, arts and crafts, yoga, drama, gym and fitness classes and relaxation techniques are provided for clients and many of these services are available to the wider community in Kilbarrack-Foxfield. In addition, KCCP provides a regular attractive local newsletter, The Snapper, aimed especially at young people and has carried out a range of important and informative reports including Young People & Drugs, in 2004; A Prevalence Study of Drug Use, also in 2004; and Transforming Kilbarrack — A Proposal For A New Youth And Community Resource Centre, in 2009. The work of KCCP is strongly supported by the north-east drugs taskforce, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, SIPTU, local youth and sporting bodies and the three Dublin North East Deputies who met KCCP a few weeks through a meeting I organised in Dáil Éireann.
Given the tremendous track record of KCCP, I was astonished to learn during the general election that the leaseholders of Kilbarrack-Foxfield community centre, Kilbarrack and District Community Association, KADCA, had served KCCP with papers concerning a court action to evict KCCP from the centre. A large public meeting of more than 200 people was facilitated on 21 February by our famous Kilbarrack community leader, Ms Kathleen O’Neill, at St. Benedict’s resource centre. I attended the meeting for a time. It voted overwhelmingly in favour of rejecting the eviction and for the retention of KCCP’s services at the community centre.
A further large public meeting of more than 300 people on 2 March, called by the leaseholders, KADCA, passed, with an overwhelming majority, a vote of no confidence in the KADCA committee and a similar vote in favour of KCCP staying in the hall was again supported by a massive majority. On 23 March a third large public meeting elected a new local residents association, the Kilbarrack-Foxfield Community Residents Association, KFRCA, led by Ms Madeline McNally-Murray. The members are pledged to operate the community centre fully for community use and have it upgraded to a high standard. However, in spite of this positive development the legal eviction action is reportedly being continued by individuals connected to KADCA.
Whether that is the case, Dublin City Council has a clear duty to review the 1974 lease and ensure the retention of the KCCP project and its 41 jobs at the community centre. I have called on local area and city management to urgently investigate and report on this key issue. I was informed that there have been three substantial efforts at mediation on this matter in the past ten years which have failed in spite of KCCP’s full engagement and efforts to be co-operative. It is now time for the Minister for Health and Children, Deputy Reilly, and the Dublin city manager to step in and insist on an immediate resolution. This should recognise the clear wishes of the people of the two Kilbarrack parishes to retain in their community centre, supported by a sublease if necessary, the critically important and hard won services and facilities of Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme.
Deputy Ciarán Cannon:
I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. I am taking this Adjournment debate on behalf of my colleague, the Minister for Health and Children, Deputy James Reilly. The Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme, KCCP, is located at Thornville Road in Kilbarrack, at a premises leased by Dublin City Council to Kilbarrack and District Community Association, KADCA. KCCP is funded by the HSE to provide rehabilitative, prevention and education services and a parental support service to the Kilbarrack community. The Department of Health and Children has also allocated funding for 2011 in respect of KCCP, as a drug-related project in the Dublin north-east local drugs taskforce area. The funding and accounting for this project is channelled through the HSE. It is the responsibility of the directors of KCCP to acquire suitable alternative premises from which to operate, if required, in order to receive ongoing funding towards the valuable local services it provides. I understand that both the HSE and the local drugs taskforce have engaged with representatives of KCCP and KADCA on several occasions over a number of years in an effort to mediate the various issues that have arisen. Unfortunately, the matter is now the subject of legal proceedings and as such, it would be inappropriate for me to make any comment.
Adjournment Debate – Community Services
Vol. 733 No. 2
Wednesday 25 May 2011

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