The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD today (Friday 11th January 2013) visited local, community-based support services in Goleen and Dunmanway in West Cork.
Minister Burton’s first stop was at Goleen Community Centre, where she officially opened the newly developed function room, meeting rooms and offices. Speaking in Goleen, Minister Burton said: “I congratulate the members of the Community Council and members of the community in Goleen and the wider area - the new facilities in this fine Community Centre are testament to your achievements and your ambitions for the future. I know that you have undertaken an enormous amount of work throughout the area and that you don’t intend to rest on your laurels.”
Over the past 14 years the Goleen and District Community Council has carried out numerous projects that have benefited the community, the largest of which was a community playing field and a community centre. This second phase involved building a function room to facilitate events for older people and other groups. The total investment in the Community Centre to date is well in excess of €1,000,000.
Minister Burton continued: “I am pleased that the Rural Social Scheme and Tús, which are administered by the Department of Social Protection, have been put to good use providing services that are important, particularly to the older members of the community, and that my Department’s Community Services Programme contributes to the upkeep of this excellent facility.”
Up to 80,000 people pass through Goleen annually en route to the Mizen Head. The Community Council is planning to develop and co-ordinate tourism-related activities to entice day visitors to remain in the area through the development of trails, walks and cycle ways. Minister Burton concluded her visit to Goleen by wishing all those involved in the Community Council well with these and all their future plans for the area.
Minister Burton later officially opened Dunmanway Family Resource Centre (FRC) on Kilbarry Road. The Centre offers a range of services from a parent and toddler group and parenting programmes to a Meals on Wheels service which provides 56 meals per week, a traditional music project for older people and transition year students as well as a social centre for older people.
Speaking with staff, volunteers and guests at the Centre, Minister Burton said: “Dunmanway FRC is truly a hub for the citizens of Dunmanway and the wider community. I am particularly pleased about the annual Expo, an inter-agency initiative which is held in Dunmanway FRC and which showcases training, education and employment supports in West Cork. My Department is working hard to engage with jobseekers in order to support them and their families in progressing into employment. The Expo initiative makes an important contribution to that work.”
Dunmanway FRC is one of 107 Centres which are located throughout the country and are funded primarily by the Family Support Agency, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The objective of the FRC programme is to improve the wellbeing of parents and children by supporting all families through the normal challenges of family life but especially those experiencing disadvantage.
The Minister paid tribute to the work of the staff and volunteers of Dunmanway FRC and wishing them continued success in their valuable work.