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Minister McEntee announces allocation of €3 million funding for innovative community safety projects

Minister McEntee announces allocation of €3 million funding for innovative community safety projects

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, T.D. has today announced the allocation of just over €3 million worth of funding to 30 projects who are adopting projects to improve safety in their communities.

Grants have been awarded under this fund to organisations or community groups that have innovative proposals to improve community safety and have not been able to access other sources of funding.

Under Budget 2024, €7.9m will be allocated towards community safety initiatives, including €3.75m for the Community Safety Innovation Fund, which is an increase of almost €1 million on last year.

Speaking today, Minister McEntee stated:

“I’ve said consistently that the people who are best placed to know and respond to local safety issues are communities themselves.

“It’s vital that we empower our communities to proactively address safety concerns and in the process build stronger, safer communities.

“This fund reflects the continued successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminals. That’s why I’m delighted that we have been able to increase the size of this fund to €3.75 million under Budget 2024.

“Putting this money back into the community is a really tangible way of showing that there can be a direct link between the activities of law enforcement and improved feelings of community safety.”

Some of the themes focused on by this year’s successful applicants include projects aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour, improving feelings of safety in the community, supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence, promoting pro-social behaviour through education and sport and supporting those experiencing drug-related intimidation.

Minister McEntee will today visit two projects who will be receiving funding from this year’s Community Safety Innovation Fund. The Minster will visit The Esker Project in Athlone, who will receive €101,903 funding for a Domestic Abuse Community Awareness and Training project.

This project aims to create awareness of the prevalence and signs of domestic abuse and to build capacity within the community to respond appropriately and effectively to create safer communities for victims of gender based violence and domestic abuse.

This will be achieved by engaging various groups in the community to become Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) aware. Workshops, training, and support will be offered to employers, education settings, statutory agencies, and community groups among others to become DVA aware and responsive.

Minister McEntee will also visit the ‘Be Safe in Your Space’ project, run by Cultúr Celebrating Diversity in Navan, Co. Meath, who are strengthening relationships between migrant communities and An Garda Síochána.

This project, which will receive €150,000, seeks to improve relationships and build trust between An Garda Síochána and migrant communities, while simultaneously raising the migrant communities’ awareness of rights and laws in Ireland.

In addition, it seeks to give migrant parents the skills and confidence to deal with antisocial behaviour in their children, by activating parents' ability to recognise signs of said behaviour (including on social media) and to give parents the necessary practical parenting advice.

It also seeks to create a robust community strategy to sustainably tackle these by engaging migrants living in local urban conurbations, and Gardaí working in community, drug traffic and detective units.

Other examples of successful applications include €147,175 to Bohemian Football Club for the North Inner City Sporting Alliance Programme.

The NIC Sporting Alliance Programme aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the NIC area with a core focus of establishing a formal network of sports clubs and organisations. Underpinning this project is:

1. A multicultural educational resource designed for children aged 9-12 championed by sports ambassadors and delivered in primary schools and sports within the NIC area.

2. Workshops/Seminars delivered to all clubs in the Alliance.

3. Two large scale annual showcase events for the community/clubs.

Lusk Community Council in Co Dublin will receive €150,000 for its Creative Lusk project.

This will seek to creatively address anti-social issues using arts, curiosity and innovation in the town to connect with the “hard to reach” youths and present alternative role and peer models for the youth to engage with.

The Waterford LEADER Partnership will receive €149,820 for the South East Farming Pilot, which will operate across Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford

It seeks to provide vulnerable young people with a social/care farming placement on a social farm in the southeast 2 days a week for 70 weeks. It will working with the youth diversion projects in the southeast region to identify potential participants.

A full list of successful grants is included in “Notes to Editors” below. All grants under the Community Safety Innovation Fund are subject to the terms and conditions as set out in the Funding Call.

Minister McEntee continued

“One of the objectives of this fund is to encourage the development of innovative ways to improve community safety.

Each successful project has detailed how best the community wants to prevent crime and their proposals reflect community priorities and local safety issues.

My anticipation and hope is that this fund will continue to grow into the future, but also that the learnings and best practices adopted by these projects can be shared and utilised in other communities facing similar safety concerns.”

Notes to Editor:

  • The Community Safety Innovation Fund was announced in April 2021 by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath.
  • The Fund was initiated in 2022 and provided funding of €2 million across 22 projects with grants ranging from €20,000 to €150,000.
  • The open call for the Community Safety Innovation funding 2023 ran from 27 March 2023 to 19 May 2023 and received a total of 61 funding applications.
  • The funding call was publicised on the Department's website and social media channels, as well as through mainstream media by way of a press release. Two briefing webinars, one public and one for Oireachtas members, were also held in advance of the launch.
  • The funding call invited applications from community safety initiatives as well as groups co-funded with local authorities, NGOs and community organisations working on issues relevant to community safety and youth justice.
  • Applications were assessed against stated criteria outlined in the call for proposals. This ensures funding is allocated to encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand local community safety needs best.

The projects receiving funding under the 2023 CSIF (30 in total) are listed below:

11st Port of Ireland Sea ScoutsScouting for Safe HarbourCo. Dublin
2WASPWASP Community Education Programme CLGCo. Dublin
3Waterford LEADER PartnershipSouth East Social Farming PilotCo. Waterford
4Connect Family Resource CentreBuilding Community ResilienceCo. Louth
5Athlone Community Services Council CLGThe Esker Project: Domestic Abuse Community AwarenessCo. Westmeath
6Family Addiction Support Network CLGTrauma in the CommunityCo. Louth, Co. Meath, Co. Cavan
7Waterford Local Community Safety PartnershipConsent MattersCo. Waterford
8Sexual Violence CentreConnect Community HubCo. Cork
9Ballyfermot Youth Services LimitedOutdoor Education In the CityCo. Dublin
10Drogheda Women & Children’s RefugeFinding SafetyCo. Louth
11Enniscorthy Community AllianceEnniscorthy Community - Plants and PlacesCo. Wexford
12Sailing into Wellness CLGAtlantic ProjectNational Coastline
13Foroige's Cable ProjectThrive TogetherCo. Louth
14Dublin South City Partnership CLGFour Community Safety ForumsCo. Dublin
15Tiglin ChallengeContrast Hydrotherapy Rehabilitation ProgrammeCo. Wicklow
16Acts of CompassionEthnic Policing Forum ProjectCo. Dublin
17South Western Regional Drug & Alcohol Task ForceSafer Newbridge Community PartnershipCo. Kildare
18Lusk Community Council CLGCreative Lusk 2025Co. Dublin
19Citywise EducationCitywise Community LeadersCo. Dublin
20South Dublin County CouncilHealthy Ireland Generation ConnectionsCo. Dublin
21CumasNew Ross Safety in the CommunityCo. Wexford & Nationwide
22ForóigeThe LEAD Project (League of Equality & Anti-discrimination)Co. Dublin & Nationwide
23Longford LCSP and Partners All Island Community Safety NetworkCo. Longford
24Ana Liffey Drug ProjectLaw Engagement & Assisted Recovery Smithfield /Broadstone ProjectCo. Dublin
25Bohemian Football Club Company North Inner City (NIC)Sporting Alliance ProgrammeCo. Dublin
26Cork Simon CommunitySocial Integration Outreach ServiceCo. Cork
27Cultúr Celebrating Diversity Ltd.Be Safe in Your SpaceCo. Meath
28Moyross Development CLGCommunity Safety Weapons Awareness ProgrammeCo. Limerick, Co. Clare, Co. Tipperary
29Inner City Organisations Network ICONCommunity Safety Response to Child and Human Trafficking in the NEICCo. Dublin
30Waterford Local Community Safety PartnershipWaterford Community Safety WardensCo. Waterford