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McCarthy

Community sector takes to streets

Online, on the ground and EU views “An Bord Snip’s recommendation that all Jobs Initiatives simply be closed down (is) absolutely appalling. On the one hand the Government are telling us they’re going to spend so much money on regeneration and on the other hand they are taking out whatever supports are already there.” - former city mayor, Cllr. John Gilligan, who is a team leader of St. Mary’s Aid in Limerick city which runs two Jobs Initiative schemes. “The absence of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturism (abolished in the October ‘08 Budget), the cuts to the Equality Authority and Human Rights Commission and cuts to funding of community groups and civil society pose challenges for ensuring continued protection against discrimination and for raising awareness and furthering rights.” - Anastasia Crickley, chairperson of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency “Closure of the Family Support Agency in an effort to save the Exchequer €30 million, would have the opposite affect,” said the Family Resource Centre National Forum which represents 107 Family Resource Centres across the country with 300 direct staff. “It is unclear as to whether the Government has the ideas, or the political capital to navigate the country through the economic and social crisis. Innovative solutions have been remarkable by their absence…” Mark Byrne, EAPN Ireland in relation to the McCarthy/Bord Snip report, writing in the latest issue of the EU-backed ‘AntiPoverty Mag’. “The summer projects were a big thing for us (growing up). We’d be looking forward to them for months, something to look forward to, something to do.” - Edel Hannon, Bray resident and client of Little Bray Family, Resource and Development Centre. “One thing’s for certain and that’s that the independence of the community sector is dead in the water and it’s probably going to set the sector back 5-10 years. Shame really... all that wealth generated and they seem to have been incapable of allocating and/or distributing it in a sustainable way... Still, one learns, presumably...” - Cozski from Dublin on www.boards.ie

National volunteer body foresees disappearance of community life - If McCarthy report implemented in full “If implemented in full, the McCarthy report would result in the disappearance of community and voluntary life,” said Tom McGettrick, chairperson of the Irish National Community and Voluntary Forum (INCVF), a body that claims to represent 22,000 community and voluntary organisations throughout Ireland. “Our member groups work with people with disabilities, our older citizens, youth groups, the homeless, poorer members of the community and the unemployed. The McCarthy report totally fails to put a value on these activities.”
 Mr. McGettrick said the Government has a responsibility to analyse the true cost of implementing the recommendations of the McCarthy report. “Our politicians and commentators seem to have fully accepted the general thrust of the report,” he said. “There are a huge number of programmes set for closure or severe cuts in the report. These include Community Development Projects, Community Employment schemes, Family Resource Centres, RAPID and Clár programmes. 
 He said such cuts, coupled with the closure of a primary school or Garda Station in a community, devastate a community. “We will be asking our politicians to change their whole approach towards correcting the public finances,” said Mr. McGettrick. “The very worst outcome for Ireland would be to adopt short-term solutions now that only lead to

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greater pressure on the exchequer in future years. The Government must decide whether it will protect the vulnerable.” About the INCVF: The Irish National Community and Voluntary Forum (INCVF) is the national representative body for the Community and Voluntary Forums which are attached to city and county local authorities. It was established in 2003. W: www.incvf.com

Having a disability doesn’t have to mean having a lesser quality life

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