Taoiseach and Minister Donohoe launch North East Inner City 2017 Progress Report

26th February, 2018

€7.5m invested in the area since 2016, with further €3.5 for 2018

This morning, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe visited Dublin’s North East Inner City and publish the 2017 progress report on Dublin’s North East Inner City (NEIC) initiative.

The Report sets out the work of the Programme Implementation Board which was established by Government in June 2017. Mr Michael Stone was appointed Independent Chair of the Board to implement the recommendations of the Mulvey report.

Speaking at Sherriff Youth Club, the Taoiseach said: “I am delighted to be present for the publication of this report and to support the on-going effort to regenerate the neighborhood. This morning, I had the chance to visit a number of community projects and see with my own eyes the commitment and passion of so many people determined to bring hope and opportunity back to this community. The North Inner City is full of decent people, long established communities and newcomers who are proud of their neighbourhood and want the best for their children. While the community has faced serious challenges in recent years, there is a real determination to move forward. The Government is determined to back this through targeted investment and expertise.”

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: “I want to acknowledge the essential contribution of the local community to regenerating this area. It is great to see so many of the projects and groups in the area engaging strongly with the initiative, recognising that this is the best way to ensure its success. The Government will continue to play its part through the involvement and support of departments and agencies.”

Commenting at the launch event, Chair of the Board Michael Stone said:
“My focus from the start has been to get things done, to be ambitious and to challenge all those I am working with to raise the bar and to seek action and innovation. I am determined that the initiative will be successful and will make the North East Inner City a safe, attractive and vibrant living and working environment for all.”

Since 2016, €7.5 million has been invested in the area, improving and providing new sports and community facilities, funding programmes to make greater use of such facilities, community events, enhanced security measures and physical improvement projects.
Examples of these include:

  • Three all-weather pitches at Sheriff YC, Larkin Community College and St Laurence O’Toole community centre and new boxing facility for Ballybough Boxing Club
    · GAA and FAI coaching programmes and new dedicated sports development officer for the area
    · An outreach project with Ana Liffey Drug Project targeting street dealing;
    · DCC and Garda working together on installation of CCTV at 13 key locations
    · New dedicated employment officer appointed for the area and new non-school career guidance service being rolled out
    · A new construction skills course with over 70% of participants now in employment
    · Active engagement with local business community yielding offers to local schools for work placements and specific job offers
    · Local business sponsoring 50 tall ships trainee places with Sail Training Ireland in summer 2018.
    · The establishment of a DEIS school network in the area as part of the schools excellence project targeting oral language in pre-school and infant classes;
    · Successful programme of Halloween, summer and Christmas events to improve cross-community cohesion
    · Range of public improvement works including road resurfacing, improvement to street lighting, parks and swimming pool works
    · Work with DCC focussing on derelict sites and shop front improvements
    · The Green Ribbon Project, which is a focused environmental programme of street clean-up and litter prevention
    · Funding to local service providers to meet urgent need identified in youth counselling, outreach work and restorative practice.

Further funding of €2.5m has been allocated for 2018 under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s RAPID subhead. An additional €1m has also been provided to support the development of a pilot social employment scheme for the area which is being advanced.

Government further underlined its long term commitment to the area with the development of three major infrastructural projects which are being progressed as follows:

  • The new primary care centre to be opened at Summerhill in mid 2018 will be one of the largest centres in the country
    · The refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station is proceeding and is going through the planning process at present
    · The development of a new community hub at Rutland Street is being led by DCC and is currently at design stage.
    · DCC is also continuing its programme of social housing provision for the area including major projects underway at Mary’s Mansions, Croke Villas and Poplar Row.

Notes to Editor:
The work of the NEIC Programme Implementation Board supported by a new NEIC Programme Office demonstrates that Government is serious about delivering real and sustainable improvements for the area. The Board comprises the key Government Departments and Agencies, working together with the local community and business representatives.

The Chair of the Board is reporting on a regular basis to an Oversight Group chaired by the Secretary General the Department of the Taoiseach. This group meets on a regular basis to ensure continued strong engagement at senior level across all Government departments and agencies to deal with any structural barriers and issues highlighted by the Board.

Link to full report here: