A Bill introduced by TDs Mark Ward and Ruairi Ó Murchú that would see money seized by CAB put back into disadvantaged communities like the North Inner-City Dublin where Olympic Gold Medallist Kellie Harrington hails. The Proceeds of Crime (Investment in Disadvantaged Communities) (Amendment) Bill 2021 has passed second stage in the Dail
Teachta Ward said: “With Kellie Harrington’s fantastic achievement in winning gold at the Olympics and lifting the spirits of a nation, the Government have an ideal opportunity to direct money seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB)back into the communities in which criminals have been most active. “Whilst the North Inner City like my own area of North Clondalkin has been disadvantaged by lack of investment community by successive Governments it is certainly not disadvantaged when it comes to community spirit.
“The Proceeds of Crime (Investment in Disadvantaged Communities) (Amendment) Bill 2021 has passed second stage in the Dail. This Bill is a perfect tool for the Government to act on. Platitudes and congratulations do not build boxing clubs or other much needed community services. “Years of cuts and stagnation in funding for community-based services by successive governments have eroded community resilience. “Sinn Féin has always advocated that any money seized by CAB should be put back into communities to rebuild resilience and to enhance existing community services.
“In response to a parliamentary question I raised, it was confirmed that CAB seized almost €65 million in cash and assets 2019. This is a huge increase on previous years and is very welcome news. “It does not happen by accident that most of the money seized by CAB originates in areas that are highly disadvantaged. “Family resource centres, youth organisations, unemployment services, sports clubs, drug task forces and others who work in disadvantaged areas should benefit from this fund. “I welcome that Fine Gael TDs and Councillors have called for this investment over the weekend but if the Government are serious about putting the investment back into the areas that really need it then they will not delay the advancement of my Bill.