1st July 2021 | Green Gazette, Green Party News

Green Ministers announce funding for Women in Sport, EV charging points and social innovation project

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Minister O’Gorman and Tusla launch an educational bursary scheme for care-experienced young people in aftercare

Minister Roderic O’Gorman, TD, and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, have launched a bursary scheme to fund practical supports for educational and career development for young people who were previously in the care of Tusla.

The bursary, funded by Dormant Accounts, makes available a grant of up to €5,000 to support the educational and career development goals of care experienced young people aged between 18 and 30.

“I am delighted to launch this bursary scheme in conjunction with Tusla”, Minister O’Gorman said. “We know that supporting young people to do well in education and training is critical in terms of building self-confidence, future employment, financial security, health and wellbeing. This scheme provides practical support for young people who were previously in the care of Tusla, and I would encourage anyone meeting the criteria to consider applying for support. Details of the scheme, including how to apply, are on the Tusla website.”

Minister Martin welcomes €4 million in funding for Women in Sport in 2021 and 2022

Sport Ireland announced an investment in its Women in Sport Programme of €4 million over the two years 2021 and 2022. This investment aims to support NGBs and enhance all aspects of female involvement across the Women in Sport policy target areas namely, Coaching & Officiating, Active Participation, Leadership & Governance and Visibility.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD welcomed the announcement, stating: “Addressing the participation gap in sport and physical activity for women and girls is a priority of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027. In recent years we have seen some improvements in this area. The Government and Sport Ireland are committed to continuing this work with the aim of eliminating the participation gap by 2027.

“While the interim Q1 2021 Irish Sports Monitor, published by Sport Ireland, shows that the gender gap in participation has been eliminated during Covid-19 restrictions, there is a lot of work to do to ensure that more women and girls participate in sport and physical activity. As we gradually re-open society we must work to ensure sport and physical activity become a meaningful part of the day-to-day lives of all women in society”.

Minister Ryan announces funding approval for On-Street Charge Points for Electric Vehicles

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD announced the first approvals for funding under the SEAI’s on-street public charge point scheme for Local Authorities. These are the first grants under this particular scheme to roll out public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across counties and towns in Ireland.

“I am delighted to announce that Louth County Council and Dublin City Council have been allocated funding under the local authority public charge point scheme”, Minister Ryan said. “This funding will see an additional 29 charge points rolled out for public use. There is significant growth in the number of electric vehicles with EVs making up 12% of new car sales from January to May 2021. As more people are making the switch to clean and efficient electric vehicles, it is important that infrastructure keeps ahead of demand. I encourage other local authorities to follow Louth and Dublin’s lead so we can grow this scheme all over the country.”

Minister Hackett announces publication of Forest Statistics Ireland 2021

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, this week announced the publication of the Department’s annual Forest Statistics Report for 2021. This Report is prepared annually by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Launching the report, the Minister commented, “The decreasing trend in the area being afforested annually is something that needs to be addressed. New forestry is essential to meeting not only our economic objectives but also our climate change targets and our aims in terms of enhancing biodiversity. The vital importance of forestry to deliver on society’s needs is well understood and the need to unlock this value into the future is clear. Therefore, the immediate priority is to address the current licencing difficulties and deliver on the objectives of set-out in Project Woodland.”

“My Department is also examining ways of promoting tree planting on farms on a smaller scale than our existing afforestation schemes for inclusion in the next CAP under agri-environment schemes. The primary aim of these measures is to promote and enhance biodiversity, by protecting important environmental resources and generating carbon sinks”.

Minister O’Brien welcomes announcement of EU funded project to establish a National Competence Centre for Social innovation in Ireland

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, welcomed the announcement by an Irish-led international consortium of a new EU funded project to promote social innovation and cross-collaboration across Europe.

“Under the direction of Rethink Ireland, this project is an excellent example of collaboration and partnership, bringing together a number of key organisations operating in an international context to develop social innovation”, Minister O’Brien said.

“Government is firmly committed to developing social innovation and social enterprise and believes that they are key to addressing emerging social, economic and environmental needs in a sustainable manner.”

Minister Noonan welcomes launch of new ‘Love This Place, Leave No Trace’ Campaign

A new public awareness campaign from Leave No Trace Ireland and its partners calls on the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors in managing dogs, preventing litter, and ensuring that there are no fires unless on a designated site.

Speaking on the launch of the ‘Love This Place, Leave No Trace’ campaign, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said it is important that everyone who enjoys the great outdoors embraces the Leave No Trace ethos:

“As we all look forward to an outdoor summer, it’s more important than ever to protect the places we love and leave no trace. We have a duty to our environment, to wildlife and to each other to be responsible stewards of the natural world – our national parks, woodlands, rivers, beaches, mountains and everywhere in between.

“Loving nature, wildlife and the great outdoors means being thoughtful, prepared and proactive – packing a picnic rather than a disposable bbq that could cause a serious fire, bringing a bin bag to pick up rubbish that could otherwise harm wildlife, keeping dogs on leads rather than letting them go and potentially worrying farm animals or breeding birds, keeping our distance from wild birds, mammals and marine life and observing them without disturbing or disrupting them.

“As more of us seek the beauty, exhilaration and escapism of outdoor recreation, our collective impact on the environment also increases. By being responsible and leaving no trace, we can help the wild places and species we love to stay wild.”

Minister O’Brien announces new Community Development Projects

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development has named 7 applicant organisations to take part in a pilot Community Development Programme. The aim of this €1m pilot programme is to trial community led interventions that address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights. The fund will advance a Programme for Government commitment.

“I am delighted to announce the organisations that have been successful in receiving funding under this pilot Community Development Programme”, Minister O’Brien said. “I know that communities themselves are best placed to identify needs and to work collaboratively to develop pathways to fully access their rights. It is hugely important that those voices that are most marginalised in society are given opportunities to engage and help develop activities that they know will help enhance their lived experiences and bring their voice to the table when decisions are being made.

“I wanted to launch this programme with the Roma focused community development project because as a group they are likely the most marginalised and excluded group in Ireland. We must do better as a whole in society for groups that suffer particularly high levels of disadvantage and marginalisation. This programme is about building the capacity of some of those grassroots groups most excluded to support them to chart their path from disadvantage. This is a signal from government that we are building a recovery from Covid with the most social excluded to the fore. 

“It’s clear from the number and quality of applications for this programme that there is a strong need among marginalised communities across the country for the supports to build a better life for themselves. My officials will be engaging with the projects that were unsuccessful this time to explore other ways of supporting their proposals. This is an initial step in recasting a grassroots community led approach to tackling disadvantage that will complement other local and national government measures to address social exclusion. 

“It’s important that all of the successful projects are impactful and make a real difference as that can inform a potential growth of a community-led approach to the significant social challenges we are facing.”