Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Departmental Reports

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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134. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if a full report will be provided in respect of the recently published report (details supplied) on Drogheda; the discussions that have taken place with other Departments in order to progress the key recommendation findings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27834/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, the Scoping Report into Community Safety and Wellbeing in Drogheda was commissioned last year by Minister Helen McEntee following a number of violent incidents in Drogheda. The purpose of the Scoping Report was to gather and assess information relating to ongoing challenges and community needs in Drogheda, and to identify actions to support communities and connect relevant services.

The publication of the Scoping Report and the development of an implementation plan are key actions in Justice Plan 2021. A distinguished former Director of the Probation Service, Vivian Geiran, was engaged to prepare the report, which makes over 70 recommendations on short and long term responses to challenges the community faces. This includes measures around crime prevention, youth services, drug addiction, education, infrastructure and community development. The recommendations highlight the need for improved interagency cooperation in the administration and delivery of State services in Drogheda, as well as the need to resource public services or provide additional services in certain areas in particular.

The Scoping Report was published on 26 March last. Briefings were organised by Minister McEntee the following week for community groups and services that had met with Vivian Geiran, as well as for public representatives for Louth.

The implementation plan for the key recommendations arising from the report is currently being developed and will identify the relevant stakeholders for each recommendation and outline next steps for engagement. I hope to bring the Implementation Plan to Government in the near future, and I look forward to continuing engagement with all relevant Departments, agencies and the Louth local authority to ensure a comprehensive and practical approach to implementation.

As an example of this cooperation, early discussions have taken place with the Department of Education on the provision of additional supports to the schools identified in the report. Engagement has taken place at official level and I understand the Department of Education is positively disposed to providing additional supports to schools in the area, including those identified in the report.

The Deputy will also be pleased to learn that discussions have also taken place with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage regarding the impact on Drogheda of the intersection of the county boundaries of Louth and Meath.

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