Fine Gael Galway West TD Brian Walsh has welcomed the provision of €2.25 in capital funding that will enable the conception and development of youth cafes that will facilitate recreational activities for young people both within and outside the Galway region. Applications for the grant have already been submitted by youth groups as well as other local organisations and are being assessed for consideration. Deputy Walsh is extending an invitation to all local associations of this variety to apply for the funding.
“ I would encourage local groups, clubs, and organisations in Galway to apply for funding so that local children and young people can be given the chance to avail of a suitable place to play and an environment that facilitates growth development and physical activity. The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, is making €2.25 million available so that children across Ireland will have safe, drug and alcohol free, places to play and to enable local communities to embark on youth projects which will deliver play facilities for our children. The funding will be made up of €500,000 for youth cafes this year. One and a half million euro will go towards youth capital projects next year, including further youth cafes, and €250,000 will be available for play and recreation initiatives.”
Mr Walsh added that this funding will be made available via local authorities with details of the funding scheme for these projects to be verified by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in the next few weeks. He also referred to the growth of obesity cases among young people and he expressed a sense of duty for all adults to promote physical exercise among young people “so that they are not beset with heart disease and other illnesses down the line.”
The Fine Gael representative intimated that this allocation of funding can be linked with the establishment of a new national play and recreation network and the need for a Yes vote in the Children’s Referendum.
“This Government has put children front and centre of policy decisions. For the first time ever we have a Minister for Children whose sole focus is on making Ireland a better place for our children to live. Our children’s emotional, social, and physical wellbeing is dependent upon the decisions we make on their behalf. I would encourage everyone who cares about our children’s futures to ensure they go out to vote next weekend, and for local clubs and organisations to ensure they avail of youth facility funding which will reap so many benefits for our children into the future.”