Call for more restorative justice plans

Thu, May 23, 2013, 22:28

A restorative programme to help develop conflict resolution skills in west Tallaght in Dublin should be rolled out to all schools in Ireland, former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan has said.

At the launch of a report evaluating the Restorative Practice Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative, Mr Lonergan said inter-community relationships “are at the very heart of the quality of life that people have”.

“Unless we have the skills and knowledge” to deal with conflict the consequences, there will be “confrontation, aggression and violence”.

He said the Irish education system was “very much focused on how to make a living” but “it forgets a lot of the things about how to live”.

The restorative programme was rolled out in west Tallaght in 2010 by the CDI, a prevention and early intervention programme funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. It involved training almost 700 people, including teachers, residents, youth workers, local authority workers and children in restorative practice, which promotes dialogue between wrongdoers and harmed people