At the October meeting, North Clondalkin/Palmerstown/Lucan, Cllr Mark Ward, had a motion passed to ask Minister Katherine Zappone to make sure that funding is directed to the “Get Ahead Club” in North Clondalkin. The “Get Ahead Club” is community-based education service operating in an area of high disadvantage aimed at helping children complete school.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Ward said: “The “Get Ahead Club” is a vital service to the people of North Clondalkin. It offers a wide range of community based educational initiatives aimed at increasing children’s chances of completing school” “It is based in North Clondalkin and operates in schools in Neilstown, Rowlagh, Quarryvale and Balgaddy. Approximately 120 children a year benefit from the different programmes that the “Get Ahead Club” roll out. These programmes include a homework club, breakfast club and recreational activities.”

“The children who use this club are from a disadvantaged area with a higher than national average level of early school dropout. Early intervention is key to a child’s development and it is vital that this service is retained” “The funding for this service comes from TUSLA to the local school completion programme who then direct the funds to the “Get Ahead Club”. Somewhere a decision was made to not allow the local schools completion programme to act as a conduit for this funding. This has led to the impasse that we find ourselves in today” “I am calling on Minister Zappone to immediately intervene and to ensure that this funding is directed to the service its provided for. The motion I had at the meeting of the local area committee was passed unanimously”

“This service has been operating in North Clondalkin since 1994. Workers, some of them who have worked for the service for over 20 years have been put on protective notice” “In addition CE workers who are using the service to gain experience and to move onto full employments are also left in limbo”