DRUGS.ie offer a live help service
Your identity is not made known to the staff member and there is no charge for you to use the service
The "Live" service is available 9am - 1pm Monday to Friday.
SRDTF News Feed
Anything But Safe
Welcome to the Southern Regional Drugs Task Force
"Working in partnership to reduce the harmful effects caused to society by Drug or alcohol misuse"
The Task Force operates using Partnership Principles and has membership from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors alongside public representatives. The SRDTF employs a coordinator (Chris Black) and a Development Worker (Gordon Kinsley) who are employed to oversee the implementation of a Regional Strategy. The Coordinator is employed by the HSE but reports to the Chairperson of the Task Force (Tom Daly) for day to day operations
This website provides information on the activites, projects and initiatives supported by SRDTF - just follow the links above or to the left to navigate the site.
- Category: Youghal Community Drugs Initiative
- Published on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 10:58
- Written by Chris Black
- Hits: 3461
With the asssitance of a €37,000 grant from the National Premises Fund, Youghal Youth Cafe was officially launched by Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan on 19th February.
Our Drugs Project Worker, Eric Trihy, works out of the Youth Cafe and is supported by volunteer Debbie Long.
Christy Long, reporter with Youghal Online.com had the following to say about the launch:
Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan was the guest of honour at the official launch of Youghal Foroige’s Youth Centre and Café at Nagle House, South Abbey. The premises currently accommodate the offices of three valuable youth projects –the Youghal Youth Café, Youghal Garda Youth Diversion Project and the Youghal Community based Drugs Initiative. It is also home to a burgeoning range of youth activities and options.
They list of speakers who travelled to attend included Ryan Howard of South East Cork Area Development (SECAD), Detective Inspector Brian Dowling deputising for Garda Superintendent Flor Horan), Foroige Area Manager Denis O’Brien, Brendan Dempsey, Regional President of the St. Vincent de Paul, Peadar King, Chairman of the Regional Drugs Taskforce and Mairi McMahon, Vice-Chair of the national Council of Foroige.
Present from the more local community were Chairwoman of the Youghal Youth Development Committee Katrine Twomey, youth film producer Gavin Hurley, the Seaside Girls -2009 under-14’s Y Factor winners, Foroige youth participants Killian and Denise Collins, Catherine Curly, volunteer with the Hot Spot youth café and Darragh Lee, the 2009 over-14’s Y Factor winner.
Last, first and at all times in between were the excellently adept young MC’s Adaline Roddy and Bobbi Donoghue, whose eloquence and enthusiasm ensured the flow of speakers arrived and departed the stage appropriately.
The Hot Spot café was a room united in purpose as it hosted a polished ceremony that was informal and good-humoured, with the speakers delivering their thoughts briefly and sincerely.
Tour of excellence
Prior to the ceremony, guests were afforded a tour of the location and nobody could fail to be extremely impressed by what they saw. Nagle House has evolved –and continues to evolve- into a positive, enriching environment, where colour and light reassures the senses and where every one of the dozen or so rooms in use suggests involvement, inspiration and idealism. From the downstairs café, music and new sports room to the upstairs blue room with its massage seat that shares the corridor with the administration offices, a wonderful air of opportunity persists.
Against this background the various speakers addressed the gathering. It would be impossible to recount all contributions but the following points were amongst those illustrated:
Youghal Youth Development Committee
Katrine Twomey explained that the Youth Development Committee included representatives of SECAD, an Garda, Foroige, Youthreach, the Southern Regional Drugs Taskforce, Pobalscoil na Trionoide, the Community development Project and RAPID. There were many youth projects running in the town at present, she said and the committee were considering options for possible usage of the remaining half of Nagle House, in consultation with it owners, the St. Vincent de Paul, and SECAD. In difficult times, she said, “the youth centre will always have a positive environment for interaction.”
A song and an Area Manager
Following a highly accomplished performance from The Seaside Girls, accompanied by youth worker and singer/songwriter/guitarist extraordinaire Bobby Lee, Foroige Area Manager Denis O’Brien took to the podium. He reviewed the history of Foroige in the area, recalling various achievements and disappointments. He said a turning point arrived when Youghal acquired RAPID status as a town with socio-economic needs and was allocated badly needed funding.
Mr. O’Brien elaborated said the recruitment of full time youth worker Nicola Lucey followed and sparked a gradual improvement in fortunes for Youghal’s youth initiatives. A relationship with the St. Vincent de Paul evolved and culminated in the Society providing the rent-free usage of half the space in Nagle House. He thanked the Society for their invaluable contribution towards theirs and Foroige’s “common goals of social justice and human development.”
The manager observed that in recent years Youghal Foroige has won funding for a drugs project and for a Garda Diversion project, which brought an expanded youth service and three more workers. “In 2009 more than 335 young people used this premises,” he noted. “That makes everything worthwhile.” He thanked all involved, “especially the staff who work from Nagle House and who did so amidst cold and dust, during its two-year refurbishment.”
In his first official engagement since being appointed last September, Peadar King, Chairman of the Regional Drugs Taskforce delivered high praise for the centre, citing “very good infrastructure” as essential for delivering good quality services. He also reflected that this year will see the introduction into the Constitution a whole new plateau of children’s rights. “The actually details are really, really impressive. It’s been a very good week for children and should be celebrated,” he surmised.
Mr. King said the SRDT was contributing €37,000 of public money to the Nagle House project. In 2009, he said, 55 local young people and 40 family members were assisted and supported by drugs force workers Eric Trihy and Debby Long. He described the SRTD as working through brief intervention, applying programmes and principles to assist those struggling with reliance and addiction, “including getting them to the stage of abstinence.”
Detective Inspector Brian Dowling of Midleton Garda station spoke on the Garda Youth Diversion Project, which is being co-ordinated from Nagle House by Catherine Ryan and Kieran McCarthy. The garda said the programme “aimed to divert people away from behaviour likely to draw the attention of the local gardai” and arose from reconstructed community policing. “It aims to foster collaborative partnerships between gardai and community organisations,” he proceeded. The appointment of a community garda, such as Peter Queally in Youghal, was part of the process. The inspector remarked on a successful enterprise in 2009, which saw local gardai play soccer matches against boys involved in the project. He then made a ‘man of the match’ award for “outstanding skill” to young player Justin McCarthy who, he presented with a Munster rugby jersey. Asked for a comment, replied young McCarthy replied with un-hesitating honesty, “The gardai are brutal at soccer!”
Gavin Curley, 14, introduced “Zombie House Hunters” a brief film project which he helped produce as part of last year’s East Cork Film Project. Gavin appreciated how the project had introduced him to camera usage “and all the different aspects of film making.” It had brought him “one step closer to being the next Steven Spielberg!” he joked (I think). The film brought a highly entertaining portrayal of the more ghoulish potential of house hunting and should be compulsory for all those equally scary estate agents.
Zombie House Hunters
Denise Collins and Killian Daly, 19 and 17 respectively, then spoke of their involvement with Foroige Youth Services since its inauguration in 2005. Denise, a member of Inch Foroige for five years, recalled being low in confidence initially. In her second year she engaged with Youghal youth projects and subsequently became involved with the youth café, before joining the East Cork Youth Council, where she still serves. At 18 she became a youth leader, undertaking Foroige 1, 2 and 3 level training. She is presently contemplating a course in youth work. She said she “would not have discovered how much I like youth work were it not for Foroige. Its many programmes ensured I had to talk to different kinds of people,” thus increasing her confidence.
Killian -“most people call me Butterbean” – joined the Foroige Youth project in 2005 and became involved with the youth club in 2009. He was “just a bystander for the first year” but thereafter “came out of my shell.” He subsequently became a member of the youth café committee and an active member of both the East Cork Youth Council and the Garda Youth Diversion soccer group. He has particularly enjoyed the various indoor and outdoor activities that Foroige provides. His confidence nurtured, he may yet follow a path as a social worker later in life, he said.
St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul Regional Secretary Brendan Dempsey was “really impressed” by the current structure of Nagle House. “We used to use it as a holiday home for pensioners but it had deteriorated and would have cost about €2m to bring it the required holiday standards today,” he explained. He was “particularly delighted” with the community Garda involvement, given the high regard in which that policing initiative was held throughout the county. Recalling how Foroige had tabled an acceptable proposal for half of the building, he said, there would be “no opposition from me if you want the second half..” In conclusion, he acknowledged the role of Nano Nagle founder of the Presentation Sisters, from whom the St. Vincent de Paul acquired the building.
National Council of Foroige and Nicola Lucey
Chairwoman of the National Council of Foroige, Mairi McMahon, was a most appropriate guest having, as she described, “started out as a Presentation Sisters Novice before ending up in Foroige!” She said Foroige “believes strongly in the beauty, dignity and value of every person.” Ms. McMahon welcomed the variety of resources that enabled the Youghal centre to “provide for many kinds of activities in a welcoming atmosphere.” Within its walls, were to be found opportunities for “learning, relaxation, participation and responsibility,” she observed.
As a volunteer leader herself the chairwoman welcomed the relatively high number of volunteers who gave up at least two hours weekly to help Youghal youth projects. These included about ten youth café volunteers, volunteers overseeing music projects that catered for about 40 young people and two volunteers with the drugs project. She hoped they all derived as much satisfaction from their participation as she did from hers.
Acknowledging the contribution of all parties, Ms. McMahon particularly thanked Nicola Lucey for her “tireless” endeavours over 4 ½ years, during which “she sourced many of the grants to fund Nagle House, recruited and trained volunteers and worked diligently with young people, showing them Foroige’s purpose and philosophy.” She wished Nicola all the best on her upcoming departure and also in her life as a new mother. The applause for Nicola was deservedly earnest and resounding.
Ryan Howard of SECAD said his organisation was delighted to support Foroige through the years. No less important than funding and administrative support, he said, was the “need to believe” in order to develop the skills and commitment to achieve dreams. He urged all concerned to “keep the process going” and SECAD would continue to support projects to the best of its ability.
A mother of five Catherine Curley described the challenge and satisfaction of being a volunteer worker in the Hot Spot youth café. She recognised it as “a safe place for young people to hang out” but also a wonderful place for her, where genuine friendships were easily forged. She had got to understand young people better and had gained confidence through her participation.
Darragh Lee, his status and confidence raised by a highly acclaimed performance opening for Liam O’Maonlai at St. Mary’s Church recently, provided ample evidence that the 2009 Y Factor over-14 winner is likely to win many more awards should he pursue a singing career. His powerful rendition of Mick Flannery’s ‘Goodbye’ suggested an a talent arriving. He was succeeded on stage by the final speaker, Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan. Goodbye Mick Flannery
Ms Logan’s affinity for the rights and interests of children and young people was palpable throughout. The former nurse described how, prior to acquiring her position in 2004, she had to undergo an interview process in which children interviewed her for the post. That represented a principle in which she strongly believed. So also did she strongly adhere to the principle that children be afforded belief and respect as individuals. “Its not something they earn. They deserve it,” she explained. Foroige, she said, recognised that.
Echoing the theme touched upon by Mr. King, the ombudsman spoke very welcomingly on the upcoming constitutional changes on children’s rights. “It means a changed perspective,” she said. “Before, it has always been assumed that adults knew better, but adults need to hear children. We must never stop believing in them,” she continued, “and adults can then see the rewards of believing in children.” Ms Logan praised the facilities, the efforts, the commitment and the very essence of what she had seen in Nagle House, urging all involved to “be proud of what you have here.” She then stepped forward to unveil the wall plaque to declare the Youghal Foroige Youth Centre and Café officially open.