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100 worthy community groups given €176k grants

OVER 100 local Dublin organisations have been praised for their outstanding work in the community -- and have won grants worth €176,000 for their efforts.

The voluntary organisations are now the proud recipients of thousands of euro in funding, rewarded for their hard work and dedication in helping to boost our city.

The annual awards of the Dublin Bus Community Support Programme (CSP) returned for its eighth year yesterday and saw prize money generously given out at the Croke Park ceremony, MC'd by RTE presenter Mary Kennedy.

Patron of the scheme Niall Quinn commended the various organisations for their valiant efforts.

"There are so many unsung heroes out there who are not seen and it's wonderful to be able to raise awareness and promote all the good that's being done," he told the Herald.


Balbriggan Youth Service Foroige was one of the 10 winners to go home with a €5,000 prize. Foroige works closely with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and applied to the scheme in order to stage a drama project for its students.

"Bullying is the biggest issue for the youths of Balbriggan between 10-21 year olds, so we wanted to facilitate a project to tackle the problem," said Zita Flatley, Youth Officer for the after-school centre.

Hoping to improve the lives of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the Dean Clinic Capel Street collected another €5,000 accolade from customer change on the transport system.

A branch of the St Patrick's University Hospital, the clinic is planning to use its sum to support people living with ADHD and addictions, through treatment, interaction and rehabilitation. "There is no service for adults with ADHD, and they're living chaotic lives," added programme manager Evelyn McCarthy.

"We do a full assessment of them and our wish is to run a support group for them, focusing on how to manage their day and identify areas they do have problems with.

Niall Quinn added: "These are not big businesses, they're the total opposite -- they're working under the floorboards of the problems that we don't even know about.

"It's very inspiring, especially with the times that are in it as well -- to see everybody pull together as the effort has to be even stronger now."

The former Ireland international and Sunderland FC Chairman saluted Dublin Bus, who he said deserve a massive pat on the back.

"They have a marvellous initiative and they're great for the city."

To entertain the winners over their meal, Mr Quinn brought in the likes of Olympic boxer Michael Carruth, Dublin footballer Rory O'Carroll, former Dubs coach Paul Caffrey and hurling sensation Liam Rushe for a sporting Q&A session.

The 44-year-old then finished up by thanking the Herald, who provided the guests with a free paper for the bus journey home.