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Barry Andrews TD Visits Tipperary

Minister Barry Andrews TD

Visiting County Tipperary on Monday last, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews, T.D., opened a new childcare facility in Ballingarry, Thurles and a Youth Centre in Tipperary Town.

The Brightsparks childcare facility in Ballingarry opened for business in February and provides a current service to 34 children.  The building has capacity for 50 children and is participating in the free pre-school year.  Approximately, €32 million has been spent on childcare facilities in Co. Tipperary over the past ten years.

Officially opening the facility, Minister Andrews paid tribute to the voluntary management board and in particular, Sr Patricia Wall, who was a major driving force in developing the project.

Minister Andrews stated:

“The local community here in Ballingarry has provided real leadership and support for parents and children in providing a state of the art childcare facility with a wide range of services.  South Tipperary County Council and the County Childcare Committee have come together to support this local initiative.  I am particularly delighted that the Ballingarry facility is participating in the free pre-school year, which is in its first year of operation”.

The Minister also visited and officially opened a new Youth Centre in Tipperary Town, which will house the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, a Youth Information Centre, a Garda Diversion Project, a Rural Outreach Project, Fás training and employment projects, as well as a youth café.

Speaking at the opening, the Minister stated:

“This is precisely the kind of integrated approach that needs to be adopted in meeting the needs and aspirations of our young people.  The new Centre will provide a hub where information is available to young people in a relaxed and friendly environment and where issues such as training and employment, rural isolation and particular needs can be addressed. I know that it will be a fine example of a coordinated response to a shared need by local groups and organisations working with young people.”

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