Laura McDonagh, Community Development Worker, Minister Helen McEntee, Marina Cunningham, Manager Meath Travellers Workshop, Micheál Macdonnachada, Chairperson Meath Travellers Workshop.

Community Safety Innovation Fund boost for two local groups

Two Meath groups will receive almost €150,000 in grants from the Community Safety Innovation Fund.

Meath Travellers Workshop will receive €99,831 for their 'Positive Ripple Effect' project while the Meath Community Drug Alcohol Response will receive €49,711 for a COmmunity Prison Link worker

'Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced the allocation of grants totalling €2 million today through the Fund and will visit the Meath Travellers Workshop today, along with the Dublin North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership.It is the first round of grants given out since Minister McEntee and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath established the Community Safety Innovation Fund – which reinvests the proceeds of crime seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau in local projects to build stronger, safer communities.

The Meath Travellers Workshop engages with young members of the Travelling community who may be vulnerable to falling into crime across Meath.

The Dublin Local Community Safety Partnership have received funding for a Community Safety Warden Scheme.

The Community Safety Innovation Fund was established in April 2021 and €2 million was allocated to it under Budget 2022 - and this will increase to €3 million next year under Budget 2023.

Minister McEntee said: “This fund reflects the successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in identifying and seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminals. Equally, people across Ireland are working tirelessly in their communities to prevent crime from taking hold and make their local areas safer.

“Working together, we will build stronger, safer communities. By putting this money back into the community, we can show that there is a direct link between the activities of law enforcement and improving community safety.

“Based on the high quality of proposals received, I believe the successful projects have the potential to have a real impact on their respective communities.

“I also want to encourage those who applied this year but did not receive funding to apply next year – we are increasing the size of the fund by 50 per cent under Budget 2023. My Department will provide guidance on how to achieve a successful application.”

The funding call for the Community Safety Innovation Fund invited applications from community safety initiatives as well as groups co-funded with local authorities, NGOs and community organisations working on issues relevant to community safety and youth justice.

The fund opened for applications in April 2022 and a total of 124 were received by the deadline of 8 June.

Minister McEntee added: “Community Safety is about people being safe and, just as importantly, feeling safe within their communities. It’s vital that we empower our communities to proactively address concerns and build stronger and safer communities.

“One of the objectives of this fund was to encourage the development of innovative ways to improve community safety from those people who best understand local community safety needs. Each project has detailed how best the community wants to prevent crime and their proposals reflect community priorities and local safety issues.”

The development of the Community Safety Innovation Fund was a key commitment under Justice Plan 2022, as part of the broader objective to drive community participation in a new approach to make communities safer, and work across government and with State agencies to support this goal.