Some €717 million distributed by Pobal to local and national community organisations in 2020

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Wednesday, 29 September, 2021) launched the Pobal 2020 Annual Report and formally announced the appointment of Ms Rosarii Mannion as chairperson

The report shows that Pobal distributed €717 million to a range of local and national community organisations, as well as Early Learning and Care, throughout 2020.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Humphreys said:

“This report outlines the important role Pobal plays, working on behalf of and in partnership with Government, to manage and administer funding from my own Department and others.

“The funding Pobal administers provides critical supports to communities, individuals and families across the country. In 2020, those supports were needed more than ever to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at local level.

In particular, I would like to thank Pobal for administering the COVID-19 Stability Fund, which provided much needed grants to community and voluntary groups, social enterprises and charities whose income had been adversely affected by the restrictions.

“In 2020, over €43 million in funding was awarded to 582 organisations to help them continue to provide their essential services to communities.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Pobal to provide targeted supports for social inclusion and community development initiatives throughout the country.”

The Minister added:

“I would like to take this opportunity to formally announce the appointment of Ms Rosarii Mannion as Chairperson of Pobal and I look forward to engaging and working with her in her new role over the coming months and years.

“I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the outgoing Chairperson of Pobal, Professor Deiric Ó Broin, for his dedication and voluntary contribution over the eight years he has served both as Director and more recently as Chair for the past three years. I wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The Pobal 2020 Annual Report highlights how 2020 saw initiatives and funding to support organisations, communities, families and individuals across the country as they dealt with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown emerge as a key focus across the diverse range of Programmes managed by Pobal on behalf of Government.

Highlights and findings from the report include:

  • Payments totalling €55,713,004 million were disbursed in 2020 under the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme to support staff in Early Learning and Care (ELC) services
  • €6 million in funding was distributed via the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) supporting 190 staff positions
  • 26,178 individuals and 2,687 local community groups were supported through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
  • A total of 4,044 capital projects were approved funding to a total value of €12.7 million under the COVID-19 Capital Grant for School Age Childcare (SAC) and Early Learning and Care (ELC) services
  • The Ability Programme supported 1,891 young people with disabilities through 27 organisations nationally since the Programme commenced.

Since it was established almost 30 years ago, Pobal has continued to evolve in response to Government priorities while maintaining a strong commitment to promoting social inclusion and equality through supports for local and national community organisations, agencies and Early Learning and Care providers.

Anna Shakespeare, Pobal CEO, said: 

“The 2020 Annual Report reflects a year like no other for our communities and our country with on the onset of the global pandemic. Despite the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19, I am very pleased to say that our organisation continued our work on behalf of Government, its Departments and in collaboration with local agencies to improve outcomes for individuals, families, children and communities, to support social inclusion and local and community development and to offer specific supports and distribute funding to groups and projects at local level whose services had been most impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown.

“I am very pleased to welcome Rosarii Mannion as Chairperson of the Pobal Board. Rosarii brings a wealth of experience and expertise at the highest level in many areas that align with the work of our organisation. I look forward to working closely with Rosarii over the coming years as we develop and implement our new Strategic Plan and build on our commitment to deliver services and funding to those most marginalised in society.

“I would like also to extend my sincere thanks to Professor Deiric Ó Broin, the outgoing Chairperson who retired from the Pobal Board at this month’s AGM, for his hard work, dedication and support of both the organisation and my own role as CEO. His sound advice and guidance and his unfailing dedication to the principles of social inclusion and development was invaluable to our organisation during his tenure as both a Board member and latterly in his role as Chairperson.”

Pobal’s 2020 Annual Report can be downloaded here.

Rosarii Mannion is a senior experienced Director having held key leadership roles in the public sector including the role of National HR Director with the Health Service Executive (HSE). She is a passionate believer in diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.