Minister Joe O’Brien launches the Empowering Communities Programme 


·       A €2 million programme targeting area-based deprivation

·       New Community Engagement Workers in the selected areas


Minister for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD today (Thursday, 2 June 2022) launches a €2 million Empowering Communities Programme (ECP) specifically targeting area-based deprivation through a community development approach. 14 small geographical areas of socio-economic disadvantage, identified by the Pobal HP Deprivation Index will benefit from this programme. As part of this programme, a Community Engagement Worker will be recruited in each of the selected areas, to develop and facilitate relationships between community stakeholders, community groups and statutory agencies and structures.



Speaking at the launch Minister O’Brien said:

“I am delighted to launch the new Empowering Communities Programme here in Rowlagh – one of the areas that will be supported by the programme. This programme will use a community development approach to address social exclusion and the impacts of poverty and disadvantage in very specific target areas. It will focus on supporting communities to building leadership within that community, support and enhance collaboration between existing community structures to develop and help implement tailored community work responses to the specific challenges faced locally. Its aim is to empower local communities to tackle area-based disadvantage and social exclusion. True community development must always be about allowing communities to decide what’s best for them.”


The Minister continued:

“The Community Engagement Worker will be a position of leadership in the community, developing and facilitating relationships between the local community and other relevant stakeholders at both local and national level. The Community Engagement Worker will be responsible for ensuring that the core work of the ECP is informed by and driven by the community.”


Minister O’Brien concluded:

This programme builds on a number of other programmes supported by my Department and will work closely with other government funded initiatives aimed at disadvantaged areas such as the Community Safety Partnerships, Local Drugs Task Forces and the Healthy Communities Programme. The people focused, capacity building and collaborative approach of the ECP is consistent with the government’s five year strategy to support the community and voluntary sector, ‘Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities 2019-2024’.”


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