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Minister Opens Youth Information Centre
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Yet another milestone in the highly successful Roscrea 2000 project was realised on Monday afternoon last when the Minister for Defence Michael Smith TD officially opened the new Youth Information Centre and launched and information booklet.

Much has been said and written about the wonderful work undertaken each and every week by Roscrea 2000 and that work is set to be even further enhanced by the extablishment of the Youth Information Centre - an innovative and easy to use facility within the project centre. Minister Smith was lavish in his praise for the work being undertaken in Roscrea - work which seeks to eliminate social exclusion wherever possible.

Deirdre Cahir (Project Co-Ordinator), Elaine McNamara (Project Worker), Michael Murray (Manager), John Hogan (Councillor), Superintendent Jim Mulligan, Michael Smith (Minister For Defence), Sergent John Byrne, Edwina Comerford (Project Worker), Finnoula Kenny (Community Worker MWHB), John Purcell (County Development Board)

Despite the increasing affluence Ireland has experienced in recent years and the great improvements that have been made in the lives of so many of our people, it is still regrettably a fact that some feel a sense of distance and alienation. It is incumbent on society and those in positions to affect change, to work to make this a society where all our people feel included.

Roscrea 2000 is doing marvellous work in empowering our local youth and providing them with the support to help them develop and thrive with positive attitudes within their own communities, Minister Smth said. Congratulating all involved in the project, Minister Smith also launched the new information booklet entitled One 2 One and said that it will be of great value to local youth in seeking expert help and advice on matters of concern.

Deirdre Cahir (Youth Project Co-Ordinator), Michael Murray (Roscrea 2000 Manager), Pat Carroll (Chairperson Board Of Management), Michael Smith (Minister For Defence).

This project builds on earlier Youth Programmes begun in 1997 and has developed its programme in consultation with key players in the local community. This includes parents and a variety of professionals, including school Principals, Health Board staff and the Gardai. Driven by the projects Youth Development Worker, this consultation process has been vital in identifying the most pressing needs of the young people and ensuring widespread support for the implementation of community based youth initiatives, the Minister said. It was a very special day for Roscrea 2000 and for the town in general.

Mr Pat Carroll, Chairman of Roscrea 2000 said that since the inception of the group, a lot of projects have been undertaken. He thanked all those who have come on board and paid particular tribute to Manager Michael Murray and the staff for their efforts which have helped to address the social issues which prevail in the town. Roscrea 2000 is a model of good practice in how to tackle issues encountered. We have not shirked away from them and we believe that we are helping to make a difference, he said.

Left To Right: Elaine McNamara, Edwina Comerford, Thomas Ryan, Deirdre Cahir, Pat Carroll, Michael Smith, Michael Murray, Mandy Nash, & Jack Ryan. Kneeling: Darren Ryan, Jason Donaghue, Roisin Finnegan & Peter Wren.

Mandy Nash spoke eloquently about some of the activities undertaken in Roscrea 2000 while Deirdre Cahir, Youth Development Officer outlined the projects involved including primary school homework clubs, secondary school integration programmes, leadership projects, one to one support schemes, and summer camps. She expressed her delight that the community information centre is now a reality in the town and said that she hopes people will use the booklet which contains names, addresses and phone numbers of vital support services in Roscrea and North Tipperary. This is a small booklet which can be kept in a wallet or purse.

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