Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Fine Gael Chairman Martin Heydon has told Minister for Children Katherine Zappone that Kildare needs two new family resource centres based on its population levels and the needs of the County.  He was speaking in the Dail as the process to allocate 11 new family resource centres continues.

“I welcomed the decision in Budget 2018 to allocate 11 new Family Resource Centres nationwide and now that applications for new centres have been received I want to highlight to the Minister the real need for new centres in Co. Kildare.

“We have two excellent Family Resource Centres already in Newbridge and the Curragh but for a County of 220k people, that is not enough. We in Kildare suffer from a perception of affluence which means that where there are areas of deprivation they suffer more.  Counties with lower populations have significantly more family resource centres such as Kerry with 12 at a population of 147,707, Donegal with 9 at a population of 159,192 and Mayo with 7 at a population of 130,507.

“Two excellent applications have been received from Teach Dara in Kildare town and from Athy Community and Family Resource Centre which need to be strongly considered to allow Kildare to catch up in terms of service provision. Both applications are strong and are very deserving of support.

Teach Dara in Kildare Town encapsulates the spirit of the Family Resource Centre programme and has demonstrated commitment and innovation in harnessing available resources to operate a de facto FRC for years, while awaiting this opportunity to be formally accepted into the national programme.

The need for a Family Resource Centre in Athy is undeniable. Athy Community & Family Resource Centre has experience of operating a local Community Development Project; currently operates a community childcare service; owns its own premises and supports a range of existing local initiatives.

“The Minister advised that 43 applications have been received for the 11 new centres, which will be considered by Tusla based on the set criteria.  I continue to be an advocate for these two worthy applications and will push them with Tusla and the Minister to ensure that their merits are recognised.