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Children’s Department says future funding will depend on implementation of Tobacco Free policy

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has today

announced that he has requested his department to review its funding

arrangements to take account of the Tobacco Free Ireland policy. The

Minister made the announcement as he sanctioned payments of €250,000 for

children’s play and recreation projects across Ireland. 19 local

authorities will benefit from funding for projects under the Capital Grant

Scheme for Play and Recreation for new and innovative play and recreation

projects and the improvement of existing facilities. “Play and recreation

are fundamental to the development of children and young people. They also

contribute to their creativity and wellbeing” said Minister Reilly.

The projects, funded by the Department, include the refurbishment and

development of six urban, suburban and public housing play areas in Dublin

city; the provision of new, accessible equipment for a playground built in

the 1970’s in Athy; the creation of an innovative, natural playground

spaces and outdoor learning environments in Tyrrelstown; the development of

a recreational space and multi-use games area for children and teenagers in

Newcastle West; and the development of several playgrounds and recreational

spaces from green field sites.

Minister Reilly said in future, applications for funding will face an

additional criterion related to Tobacco Free Ireland. “The Government has

made clear its intention to progress policies that reduce the prevalence of

smoking amongst all ages. I have made a particular point of stressing the

need to stop children from ever starting to smoke in the first place and we

pursue a policy of attempting to de-normalise smoking for young people. For

that reason in future I will request that funding for projects such as

children’s playgrounds will be contingent on the relevant local authority

implementing a policy of ensuring the projects are no smoking areas. The

importance of de-normalising smoking in the eyes of children can’t be over


“My Department worked closely with the Local Authority Play and Recreation

Network to develop criteria to focus this year’s Capital Grant Scheme for

Play and Recreation on projects, which are inclusive, accessible, safe and

take into account the views of children and young people”, added the


Meanwhile Professor Luke Clancy, the Director General of the Tobacco Free

Research Institute Ireland, welcomed the review of funding arrangements

saying that “it should help to further de-normalise smoking while

preventing exposure to second hand smoke and prevention of litter which

research from TFRI had shown was a benefit of Fingal Co Council going

smoke-free in its parks”.

The Minister noted that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA)

Play and Recreation Capital Grants Scheme was oversubscribed and extremely

competitive. Successful applications were those that best met the criteria

developed for Scheme. Matched funding is being provided in each case by the

relevant Local Authority.

“I would like to thank all of those who applied for funding under this

Scheme, and to pay tribute to the commitment of the community groups and

Local Authorities who are working together to improve the quality of the

play and recreation facilities available to children and young people in

Ireland",concluded Minister Reilly.