Minister of State, Jan O’Sullivan TD, was honoured to be at the launch of a report highlighting the positive influence of Limerick city Community Development Projects (CDPs) on the problem of social exclusion in Limerick’s most disadvantaged areas.
The report entitled: Value of Community Development Projects in Limerick was undertaken by Tom Kinirons and Glynis Mulligan under the guidance of Dr Stephen Gallagher of UL. The report attempts to evaluate the personal and social impact of Limerick city CDP on the communities they are serving.
Ms O’Sullivan made the point that perhaps the CDPs could learn a thing or two from politicians in terms of self promotion.
“One of the findings of the report is that the CDPs probably do need to shout a little bit more about what they do. While the people who are directly involved in the programmes have derived great benefit from them, maybe it is not always as widely known throughout the community.
“It is important to get your message out - we politicians know that more than most - you have to actually say what you’re doing and you have to tell people what you’re doing,” said Ms O’Sullivan.
Dr Gallagher, also speaking at the launch said: “Limerick is one of the most disadvantaged counties and cities in the Republic. Within that you have the communities of Moyross, St Mary’s Park, Ballinacurra Weston and Southill that have been identified as some of the most disadvantaged in the country itself.”
The CDPs were set up in Limerick in 1995 to deal with the growing issue of social exclusion in these areas.
Manager of Limerick city CDP, Juan Carlos Azzopardi, said: “This report is important because it tries to capture the experiences of those who participate in community development and the effect it has had on them and their community - not just in terms of numbers but in terms of the personal and social impact.”
Mory Timmons, a volunteer with the CDP and a serving director on the board, paid tribute to all the volunteers who make such initiatives possible, saying:
“Volunteers, do not get paid, not because they are not worth it, but because they are priceless.”