Dublin afterschool project appeals for funding ahead of Budget, fears it will have to close

An afterschool project in Dublin’s north inner city fears it will have to close because of a lack of funding.

CASPr tries to help young children escape from the gangland feud and drug-dealing in the area by providing afterschool activities and childcare.

They run an afterschool project to facilitate primary school children to do their homework, to go swimming or take a music class. They also provide weekly trips to the cinema and some annual activities, incuding the Christmas panto.

The project also helps the children's parents through training programmes.

Its projects can be located here.

CASPr has issued a plea for funding to stay open ahead of next week's Budget in order to continue its work and provide children with a safe space to study and play.

Ann Carroll, a project manager with CASPr, said by way of example that a local child who pricked its finger with a used syringe ended up in Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Colleague Ruth Breen said the gangland feud had also impacted heavily on the area.

"We had to pull the shutters down in our project one day because there was a shooting just around the corner. Unfortunately, the children know the people who are shooting and who are getting shot," she said.

The CASPr project is shortly reducing to two and a half days because of a lack of funding, with fears it will have to shut altogether.

If that happens, chairperson Brian O’Toole said these children will be the next generation in trouble.

He said: "The children we're looking after (as teenagers) are the ones going to get themselves into piles of trouble (later, unless proper intervention happens)."

The centre is in the heart of the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe's constituency and ahead of next week’s Budget, the workers are appealing for it to be saved.

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