The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D., today welcomed the commencement of a new Garda Youth Diversion Project to serve the Huntstown and Hartstown areas of Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Addressing those present at the launch of the ORB Garda Youth Diversion Project the Minister said, "In 2005, research was carried out in both Huntstown and Hartstown (‘A Survey of Local Residents on the Local Area of Huntstown in Dublin 15’ and ‘Hartstown Needs Analysis Survey’) in order to assess the primary social needs of these areas. These areas have expanded rapidly over the last number of years and any increase in population of this magnitude creates demands on a community that may not have been experienced before. One of the biggest issues highlighted by this research was increased levels of anti-social behaviour and the need for measures to be put in place in order to combat this. I am glad to say that An Garda Síochána and my Department have been able to respond to these findings by the establishment of the ORB Project, which is being launched here today to address the needs of local youth and bring about an improvement in the quality of life of the local community."

The Minister continued: "I am confident that the ORB Project will prove itself to be a valuable and worthwhile initiative for the Huntstown and Hartstown areas. I have no doubt that the tangible benefits of this project will become clear to all in the community in no time. The community spirit in these areas is immeasurable and I am sure that the support that this Garda Youth Diversion Project will receive will be a major factor in the successes I know it will experience."

Minister Lenihan also announced the establishment of an additional seven Garda Youth Diversion Projects throughout the country. This brings to 100 the total number of Garda Youth Diversion Projects in operation and fulfils the Government’s pledge to have this number in operation before the end of 2007. The Minister remains confident that he will achieve his target, outlined in the Programme for Government 2007-2013, of having 168 Garda Youth Diversion Projects established nationwide before the end of 2013.

The locations of the 7 new projects are as follows:
1. Ballymun     
2. Crumlin     
3. Finglas East     
4. The Curragh 
5. Newcastlewest     
6. Roscrea     
7. Tullamore

The Minister approved the locations of the seven projects on the basis of local needs as prioritised by the Garda Commissioner.

22 October 2007

Note to Editors
Garda Youth Diversion Projects are a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative, which seek to divert young persons from becoming involved - or further involved - in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects.  By doing so, the projects also contribute to improving the quality of life within communities and enhancing Garda/community relations.  The projects are funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and are administered by the Community Relations Section of the Garda Síochána.