In June 2016, the Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny T.D., on behalf of the Government, requested Mr. Kieran Mulvey to report on the profound challenges facing the communities of North East Inner City Dublin, and to recommend specific measures which would support the long-term economic and social regeneration of the area. Mr. Mulvey’s Report was launched today and the Government have given their initial response. The Report identifies four priority areas and an action plan for each area:
- Tackling Crime and Drugs
- Maximising educational / training opportunities / Creating Local Employment Opportunities
- Creating an integrated system of social services
- Improving physical landscape
It also outlines specific structures and processes which Mr. Mulvey says are critical if the programme is going to be successful.
The Taoiseach announced that with, Minister Donohoe’s support, funding is being ring-fenced to support the implementation of the Report which will amount to €5 million. Minister Donohoe said “this significant funding will ensure the programme is driven from day one and ensures existing funding is used in ways which is smarter and has greater impact. I also expect the local business community and employers will play their role in matching this effort to deliver real change for the individuals and families whose community they operate within”.
The Taoiseach said that community participation is vital in the planning, implementation and evaluation to ensure to the success of the programme. “Without real and direct engagement with the people within the community, we cannot make change. The Government fully accepts that to achieve the impact we all want, the community have to help in leading and driving implementation. “
- This is about how all of the passion, know-how and energy of the community and all existing providers can be best harnessed to deliver services that work, and if they don’t work having the confidence and courage to respond flexibly to try new ways to meet the community needs. Everyone needs to change if this is to work”.
The Taoiseach also referred to the interim measures already undertaken since the establishment of the Ministerial Taskforce. “Funding of €4.7 million was committed to the area in 2016 and much of the work related to these funds is completed or well underway”. However, he acknowledged the recent public debate about the future of Rutland Street School had caused considerable disquiet in the community. He indicated that the Council are commencing a fresh process to assess the options and costs of redevelopment of the site; as well as funding options. The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of a community hub on the site.
Finally, the Taoiseach referred to recent measures have been introduced to tackle gangland crime including:
- The establishment of the new Garda Special Crime Taskforce to enhance the response to organised crime and Operation Hybrid to coordinate the response to violent crime in the area and address public safety concerns about community safety.
- Government approved an additional €55m for An Garda Síochána to assist in a number of initiatives including concentrated policing which targets gang related crime and a dedicated Armed Support Unit for Dublin operating on a 24 hour basis and comprises of 55 Gardaí and five sergeants.
Arising from the recommendations contained in the Report, the Taoiseach announced the Government’s commitment to tackling crime and drugs in the area. The Taoiseach said “Until the people of this community feel safe and confident walking their own streets; feel able to let their children play outside, we will not have achieved what we need to for this community.
30 additional Gardaí will be allocated to the North East Inner City. These will be in place by the end of the year. In addition, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, has said that the design, planning and procurement aspects of the refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street Garden Station will begin as soon as possible. This will provide a community hub from which a range of Garda services will be provided.
The Taoiseach also referred to implementation structures and processes. “There is a vital need to ensure there are no more “false dawns” for this community. If we want to make this happen for real this time, we need community engagement and support as a prerequisite. The structures and processes that Kieran has proposed have that at their heart. I will shortly announce an independent Executive Chair to lead a number of the implementation structures “housed” within the Dublin City Council. The Taoiseach confirmed that the Ministerial Taskforce and Senior Officials Group chaired by the Secretary General of the Department would maintain an ongoing oversight role. He said “this level of oversight has never happened before for an area-based project like this. We have to successfully harness the expertise and learning to make these types of initiatives work.”
Download the Mulvey Report here.
- The main recommendations are focused on four priority areas:-
- Tackling Crime and Drugs
- Maximising educational & training opportunities and Creating Local Employment Opportunities
- Creating an integrated system of social services
- Improving the physical landscape
The full report is available [here].
- The Report draws on visits to the area and meetings local community, service providers and statutory services; a review of a range of submissions which were received; collation of some information on funding and service provision in the areas; an examination of CSO Census data and Pobal Deprivation data; and a rapid review of literature, undertaken with the assistance of National Economic and Social Council.
- The Report outlines the current challenges facing the area with particular regard to criminality and the drug culture but is focused on providing a new narrative for the area focused on assets and potential of both the community and the physical and economic infrastructure available in the area.
- In addition to the priority actions, specific cross-cutting themes which get particular attention include the need to:
- Inspire and equip a new generation within the community to be actively involved in the regeneration within the area.
- Improve co-ordination of a very wide multiplicity of services, both statutory and non-statutory, is also referred to. The focus is on encouraging local services to assess impact, flex provision to the specific local needs and to drive full co-ordination which make services easily accessible and targeted to the local community.
- Drive a more challenging; practical and impactful engagement between the community, business, statutory agencies as partners in achieving positive change in the area.
- Mr Mulvey identifies a ten year time frame to transform the area but underlines the importance of being ambitious to achieve within a shorter timescale and the importance of getting a lot done particularly in the next 3 years.
- In terms of implementation structures, the Report clearly identifies the need for existing local structures as being central to implementation and Dublin City Council as the home for a focused programme office to drive implementation. The Report acknowledges that this will require additional expertise and an Independent Executive Chair to oversee the work in the area and new proposals for strong engagement with the community and harness its input into the implementation process. An on-going role for the Taoiseach’s Department is also identified to provide continued support and oversight to ensure the Report is fully implemented.
North East Inner City - Progress on 2016 Interim Measures
Physical Infrastructure Works - €3.2m
Roads Re-surfacing (parts of James Joyce St. and Railway St.)
Portland Place Park (Phase 1)
Painting of public lighting lampposts
Ballybough Community Youth & Fitness Centre (Xmas Lights)
Ballybough House, Courtney Place and environs
Public Lighting Upgrade
The LAB (City Arts Office) internal improvement works
Sean Mac Dermott St. Swimming Pool (Internal refurbishment)
Mountjoy Sq. Railings restoration and improvements
Public Domain Improvements including roads re-surfacing
Vacant sites Hoardings
Sheriff St. Recreation Centre Equipment upgrade
Painting of Sheriff St. Upper Lifting Bridge
Technical works underway
Dorset St. Fire Station (In Community Use) - structural works
In planning phase
Lourdes Daycare Centre
Sofia Housing Association (Internal Alterations & External Works)
On hold, possible planning requirement
€165,000 for Children's Initiatives
Brighter Futures Restorative Practice projects undertaken across two age groups involving young people in the area culminating in presentations to Government Ministers and Officials and local services 14 Dec 2016
Tulsa training for teachers to implement a number of evidence based intervention programmes proven to generate positive outcomes
€500,000 funding for Community Projects
(all completed or in progress except marked*which is in planning)
New Halloween event funded in 2016 for the three communities of Ballybough, Sheriff St. and Sean McDermott St.
Reader in Residence – Charleville Mall Library - 9 month programme underway involving 11 local schools.
Coderdojo Digital Skills Project -– 1 year programme underway giving children an understanding of programming languages.
An Cosán - SHaRE Reading Programme
Trinity Third Level Access Programme
Mens Shed Project - North East Central Community Garden*
Home from Home Learning Spaces (National College of Ireland Early Learning Initiative)
Play area for Community Crèche (North Wall CDP Sheriff St.)
Junior Leadership Programme (Lourdes Youth & Community Services)
Research on hidden disadvantage in NEIC private rented sector (ICON)
Kitchen equipment for cookery classes at Hardwicke Street Flats Community Centre (Daughters of Charity Community Services)
CDETB finalising its new integrated service plan following local engagement
NEPS rolling out the Incredible Years Teacher Programme and the Friends for Life programme to all local schools
€100,000 additional funding allocated across 15 drug related projects in the area
After School Education & Support Programme
Crinan Youth Project Evening Service
NEIC Policing Forum
ACRG (Aftercare Recovery Group)
Package of €1.04m investment, in sports facilities and projects in the area
(all completed or in progress except marked*which is due to commence shortly)
Resurfacing of existing pitch at Sheriff YC
Resurfacing of existing pitch at Larkin Community College*
New multi-use games pitch at Dublin City Council Recreation Centre in Sheriff Street
Professional Services on above 3 pitch projects (Sports LABS)
Acquisition and refurbishment of premises in Ballybough for boxing.
Capital grant to St Joseph's Boys (GAA)
new Sport Coaching Programmes with the GAA and FAI
Sports equipment and small grants to 39 local sports clubs and groups
DCC appointed full time Sports Development Officer in September 2016
€55,000 allocated to fund the Firestation Arts project to provide artists’ workshop spaces and day studios - on hold pending location of an alternative site.