Wednesday, 16 November 2011

‘Feeling Safe in Our Community’ - BWRA Welcomes Barnes/Power Report

The Ballinacurra Weston Residents’ Alliance (BWRA) has welcomed the publication of “Feeling Safe in Our Community” by Dr. Cliona Barnes and Dr. Martin Power of the University of Limerick’s Department of Sociology,which was funded by the Limerick Regeneration Agencies and which was launched by TV3’s Vincent Browne in Ballinacurra Weston at the West End Youth Centre on Friday November 4th 2011.
“This report highlights the failure of the state to protect its citizens’, the way we were promised in the Fitzgerald Report; we were promised a dedicated Garda service that would ensure a highly visible Garda presence at all times, which was supposed to restore confidence and stability to the community, and that never happened. Unfortunately, the report’s findings were overshadowed by Vincent’s Browne’s comments on the media, bankers and developers, so the report itself received very little coverage” said Matt Collins Chairperson of the BWRA.

While welcoming the report, the BWRA is however, highly critical of the UL’s Department of Sociology wilful exclusion of residents from the launch. “It’s been claimed that the BWRA received five invitations to the event, this is simply untrue.  Our PRO was asked to supply four names at the eleventh hour, but only after we had distributed a leaflet condemning the exclusion of residents the day before the event”, said Mr. Collins. “We were aware of the event because our PRO is currently in UL studying for an MA in Sociology and he was under the impression that resident’s would be informed and invited.”

Cathal McCarthy, PRO for the BWRA, said he was shocked at the exclusion of residents from the event. “I was under the impression that residents who participated in the research would be contacted prior to any launch and would have an opportunity to see the report beforehand as this is considered to be standard ethical practice, this was what Dr. Barnes said would happen during a lecture six weeks prior to the event. I was shocked when it became clear that this wasn’t going to be the case”

Mr. McCarthy also challenged the claim by Department Head, Dr. Eoin Devereux, that one third of those invited were “community activists/residents from Moyross and Ballinacurra Weston”.

“Around 75 out of 90 invited guests attended the event and they were mostly from UL and other academic institutions. It is important to distinguish between voluntary community activists that live in the area and paid community workers that don’t; the latter were well represented but residents were thin on the ground, in fact there were more residents from Moyross, and the four of them had received formal invitations.” said Mr. McCarthy.

Mr. McCarthy also said that he was contacted by Dr. Power the day before the event after the BWRA had distributed a leaflet informing residents of the event, “I was asked to supply four names for the morning session, which was a symposium on ‘stigmatising neighbourhoods’ as there was a limited number of seats, but it was agreed that residents that sought admittance on the day would be asked to return for the launch of ‘Feeling Safe in Our Community’ in the afternoon”

“I found out afterwards that some residents turned up in the morning but were turned away despite the availability of seats and without being invited back for the afternoon session” said Mr. McCarthy

“There are many recommendations in the Barnes/Power report that would make our community a safer place to live, if they are heeded and implemented. The report is critical of the lack of GardaĆ­ patrolling the areas and of the depopulation process and the manner in which homes are boarded up and left to be vandalised and burnt out, these recommendations deserve more attention in the media than they have received. The report is also critical of the failure of the regeneration agency to communicate with residents and keep us informed”, said Mr. McCarthy.

“It’s only a pity that Dr. Barnes and Dr. Power didn’t take their own advice and communicate with residents before the launch”, concluded Mr. McCarthy.

The BWRA will issue a full response to the Barnes/Power Report in the coming weeks. However, it is interesting to note that the pdf file, published on the internet by the Limerick Regeneration Agencies in recent days, contains an additional page (p.3) thanking residents for their assistance, which was not included in the hard-copy distributed on the day of the launch.

Click image for full report

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The BWRA Need's Your Vote

The Ballinacurra Weston Residents Alliance has entered a video in the Better Together Video Competition and we are looking for your support.
You can vote everyday. Or reload the page and vote again and again. 5 stars please.
Please take a few minutes to see and vote for the video,by clicking the link below
Young people in Limerick Youth Service have also entered a video, as we recieved our youth work training,and are affiliated to LYS, we ask that you also take the time to view and vote for their entry
Thanks a mill!!!


Cathal McCarthy
PRO, Ballinacurra Weston Residents' Alliance.
087 784 50 70