Minister Catherine Byrne launches Pobal’s Annual Report
17 October 2016
Minister Catherine Byrne launches Pobal’s Annual Report
Pobal has launched its 2015 Annual Report with the report showing an increase in its activities which tackle disadvantage, poverty and inequality.
Catherine Byrne TD, Minister for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy officially launched the report at St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
In 2015, Pobal administered €345.1 million through a range of programmes it manages on behalf of government departments, the EU and other bodies. This represents an increase of €8 million on 2014.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Byrne said:
As an organisation rooted in community values, Pobal is ideally placed to strengthen the capacity of communities all across the country. As Minister of State with responsibility for Communities, I am charged with ensuring that people throughout the State feel empowered to take control of their future and to shape the environments in which they live and work.
I believe that this report outlines how Pobal, by putting its experience and expertise to use, has made a real contribution to this process.”
The Minister singled out specific examples from the report such as the €26.8 million investment in the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) over the 9 months of its operation in 2015. This investment in training and mentoring helped almost 37,000 individuals on a one-to-one basis while over 4,500 were facilitated to start their own businesses.
Minister Byrne said:
As I travel to different parts of the country in my role as Minister for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, I have visited many places where projects Pobal are involved with are evident. These projects  have  a real impact every day on communities and
Seamu​s Boland, Chairperson, Pobal, Minister Catherine Byrne TD and Denis Leamy, CEO at the Pobal Annual Report launch
individuals. Through these visits I have developed a real sense of the tangible impact that Government programmes managed by Pobal are making, and the beneficial effect they’re having on thousands of people across the country.
Think of the positive impact on the lives of not just those 4,500 people who are now earning their own living, but their families and communities too. Behind each of these people there’s a human interest story of progression and advancement.
I believe that sustained investment in community development and civic enterprises is crucial to ensuring that nobody is left behind as Ireland’s economic outlook improves. We need a recovery where nobody, or no group, is excluded, one from which everyone can benefit.”
Some of the other findings in the annual report:
·         93,119 children registered in child-centred programmes
·         23,070 families availed of reduced childcare fees
·         23,456 people received employment supports
·         15,700 people supported into the workforce
·         1,251 persons with a disability progressed to further education or employment
Pobal CEO, Denis Leamy said;
“2015 was another busy, challenging and productive year for Pobal. Demand for our expertise in both programme development and delivery remained very strong.
I believe this increase in activity is an endorsement of the expertise Pobal has developed in providing high quality programmes, and a recognition of the rigour Pobal brings when assessing and identifying tangible results at community level.”