Thursday, 17 May 2012


HUNDREDS of community workers and supporters gathered in Ballyfermot Civic Centre on Friday (11th May) for a march, rally and open day to show their backing for vital community service
The event was organised by local community activists concerned at the impact spending cuts are having on the sector. Local residents came to their doors to cheer on the marchers as they paraded in a blaze of colour and sound through the streets of Ballyfermot.
At the rally that followed, Theresa McGouran, of the Markiewicz Care Centre, gave a rousing speech defending the community sector, calling on the Government to “take urgent action and save our services.” She listed a number of services that were now under threat, including affordable childcare, after-school groups as well as drug, mental health and family support services.

More than 30 local organisations took part in the event, including the Ballyfermot Community Association, the Ballyfermot Theatre Workshop, Ballyfermot Youth Service, and the Kylemore Community Training Centre.

A number of key service providers also set up stands in the Civic Centre to highlight the work they do and outline how funding cuts were impacting on services.

Theresa McGouran told Liberty: “We want to highlight our services and unite our community in the ongoing
battle to make sure we don’t lose them.The services we have in Ballyfermot weren’t given freely –they had to be fought for, and now it’s time for us to stand together and fight to save them."

“During a time when poverty and deprivation are increasing, our local services are more important than ever.”

Ballyfermot Community Association Manager Gerry Royal echoed these sentiments. He said: “The cuts to date have already had a drastic effect, particularly the cuts to material and training grants to Community Employment
funding.We are calling on the Government to reverse these cuts and help our hard-pressed community.”

Henry Harding, Chairperson of Ballyfermot Civic Centre and a member of the Senior Citizens’Parliament,also joined in the march and rally.

Henry, who is also involved with the local drugs task force, said: “The cuts to community funding for working
class people are a disgrace. Something has to be done for the young people of this area as an urgent priority.”

Sarah Murphy, of the Ballyfermot Travellers Action Project, added:“We’re here to talk to people about the important work we do, the unique service we provide for the local Traveller community and to campaign with other community groups to make sure we are all still here next year!”

streets of Ballyfermot

on Friday (11th May) to

show their support for

under-threat l

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