13th May 2021 | Equality, Press Releases

Green Ministers announce €4.5m in community funding and ground-breaking birth information Bill


Minister O’Brien announces €4.5 million to improve community facilities

Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, announced €4.5 million to support community groups impacted by Covid-19.

The 2021 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) will provide small grants designed to assist in the re-opening of facilities such as community centres, men’s and women’s sheds, parish halls and youth centres. The funding will help groups and clubs get back on their feet and may be used to carry out necessary renovations and repairs or to purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies, training equipment and so on.

“The CEP is a really practical support to smaller community groups and facilities that are active at a grassroots level. This past year has, once again, shown the importance of a vibrant Community and Voluntary sector”, Minister O’Brien said.

“The efforts of local community groups & volunteers throughout the pandemic has been immense and, as we recover from the pandemic, we are conscious that something different is needed for many groups this year, and that is why with the CEP this year there is a focus on grants towards reopening facilities.” 

Minister Ryan publishes framework for Ireland’s Offshore Electricity Transmission System

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) this week published the framework for Ireland’s future offshore electricity transmission system, which will facilitate the expansion of offshore wind energy to help the country meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets.

“Meeting the ambitious goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030 will require development of significant offshore renewable energy over the coming decade”, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD said.

“What’s really important is that this policy is a further step towards building that renewable sustainable resource right here in Ireland. It will give us energy security, and it will also help us to reduce our carbon emissions. Over the next decade we will be electrifying our transport and other systems and we will need electric power from sustainable resources to do that. Offshore wind is a win-win for local communities and for Ireland.”

Minister O’Gorman publishes proposed Birth Information and Tracing Legislation

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has published the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill. The ground-breaking legislation will provide a full and clear right of access for adopted people and others with questions on their origins to birth certificates, birth and early life information.

The legislation takes a comprehensive approach, encompassing all people who may have a question in relation to their origins and supporting access to the broad range of birth, early life, care and medical information that may be contained in institutional or other records.

“For too long, adopted people and others have struggled with unanswered questions in relation to their identity and origins, and have felt the acute distress and inequity of that”, Minister O’Gorman said. “This is why the Government is bringing forward this proposed legislation which will unlock access to crucial information on a person’s origins; information which has been beyond their reach for too many years.”

Minister Martin announces Creative Youth conference 2021

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, Catherine Martin TD this week announced details of the Creative Youth conference 2021, ‘Creativity – the connection to the future, now’.

Presented by the Creative Ireland Programme, the conference will reflect on the achievements of Creative Youth and the challenges that lie ahead as we consider what strategies will be required to deliver positive, sustainable outcomes for children through their engagement with arts, culture and creativity.

“As the impact of a year under Covid-19 restrictions becomes clear, there could not be a better time to reflect on the Creative Youth plan, but also to look to the future. To consider not only the challenges but also the opportunities that lie ahead, as we strive to provide better, more inclusive opportunities for young people to discover, nurture and celebrate their own creative potential”, Minister Martin said.