Senator Hopkins stated that she "was informed early by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs that full funding remains in place for youth services in Roscommon and North East Galway this year. I have been advised that Youth Work Ireland Roscommon East Galway has lost the funding for delivery of these youth services because they were unable to meet the terms and conditions attached. Replacement service providers are being assessed and the funding will be allocated once in place."
"Officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs have informed me that funding was withdrawn from Youth Work Ireland Roscommon North East Galway following a service and governance examination. I was advised that the Department found that the service being delivered by Youth Work Ireland was not sufficient to meet the needs of young people and that the governance structure was not fit for purpose. For example, in the statement provided by the Department they note that one of the sites for delivery of youth work projects in Ballygar was closed by Youth Work Ireland Roscommon North East Galway in 2015 without the Department's permission."
Senator Hopkins continued "it is really important for the general public that we are assured and convinced that the services are being delivered to a high standard to meet the needs of vulnerable young people. We must have confidence in the governance of organisations providing these and other services, we have too many examples of poor structures in other organisations resulting in inefficient use of hard earned taxpayer's money."
"Currently, the Roscommon Galway Education and Training Board with the Department are conducting a needs analysis of young people's needs within this area. They are in the process of putting in place a replacement quality service. This service will be provided on an interim basis at first with plans for a permanent targeted service to be put in place later this year across Roscommon and North East Galway."
Senator Hopkins also stated "the Phoenix Centre in Ballaghaderreen has been supporting a large number of individuals and local groups and organisations within the town and surrounding area for a long period of time and it is vital that it reopens as soon as possible. Ongoing negotiations are actively taking place to ensure this happens and that an improved service for our young people is provided."