Dublin footballer Michael Darragh MacAuley has said he is hopeful Government investment can turn around a deprived part of inner-city Dublin.
Mr MacAuley, a five-time All-Ireland winner, has quit his job as a primary school teacher to become involved with the North East Inner City initiative (NEIC), which was set up after the publication of the Mulvey report in June 2016.
Mr Mulvey was tasked by the then taoiseach Enda Kenny to make recommendations on regenerating the north inner city after a series of shootings there related to the Hutch-Kinahan gangland feud.
Mr MacAuley said he will be working on various projects in the area to do with sport and wellness.
“Over the years this has been a hugely disadvantaged area. There has been great people here. Now they are getting great resources,” he said.
“The Government has put its money where its mouth is. There are worthwhile projects here. It is definitely going in the right direction.”
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring announced on Thursday that funding for the initiative will increase by €2 million to €5.5 million next year.
The announcement was made at the Lourdes Day Care Centre on Sean MacDermott Street, which is getting a €400,000 refurbishment. The Sean MacDermott Street swimming pool has also been upgraded, as has the centre on Rutland Street, which will be turned into a community hub.
Mr Donohoe, who is the local TD, said he was “delighted” Mr MacAuley was involved.
He said the purpose of the investment was to change how this part of Dublin looks.
“We are making progress at the moment in tackling issues of interest to the community. The Government decided extra funding needs to be put in place,” he said.
The extra funding will underpin 50 community-based jobs in the area.
Mr Ring said the money showed the Government’s commitment to implementing the Mulvey report, which called for extra investment in the area.
He added: “Nowhere is the regeneration of this area more evident than in the Lourdes Day Care Centre, which is undergoing significant extension and alteration. The extension to this facility and the two support workers which my department provides are just a small part of these supports.
“We need to support and invest in community hubs such as this which represent all that is positive about the area, and this significant increase in funding will allow us to do so.”