Community development

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Community development in the docklands

The future of community development in the Dublin docklands was raised by Maureen O’Sullivan (ind, Dublin C) on the publication of the report on the Dublin Docklands Development  Authority (DDDA) and the government decision to wind it up (Dail Eireann, Debates, 7th June 2012, 655-8).  She was appalled to read of the poor quality of the management of the authority.   She wanted to know how residents would be included in future replacement structures.  Kevin Humphries (Lab, Dublin SE) recalled the social regeneration unit set up by the DDDA, which raised the proportion doing the Leaving Certificate from 10% to 60%, a tangible result and was only 2% below the level for third level attendance.  300 high-end jobs were delivered in the International Financial Services Centre through a placement service. This was a credit to the social regeneration unit and the community councils and the other positive aspects that were developed.  They had shown the value of education and real jobs.  This area can still create jobs and be an engine for growth.  There must be full community involvement, with real, tangible community gains.

 

In his reply for the government, Fergus O’Dowd, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government told the Dail that while the DDDA was being wound up over 18 months, the government was fully committed to the area.  Maureen O’Sullivan criticized him for never mentioning the local communities, which took second place to developers and speculators at all times.  Although there were seven places for community representatives on the council, only five had been filled and two had not been re-appointed.  What was the position?  For Kevin Humphries, regeneration without social inclusion was meaningless.  We must not lose this focus because of the abolition of the authority.