As the main event of this festive season draws nearer, we would like to take a moment to wish all of our clients, partners, sister organisations, family and friends a very merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year. In 2016 there were a lot of people and organisations that have helped us help the communities of Dublin’s north inner city and for that, we would like to say thank you. In the year that marks the centenary of the Easter Rebellion of 1916, this is but one of the many events that will enshrine 2016 in all of our memories.
Dublin’s north inner city played host to numerous commemoration ceremonies on the run up to the centenary commemoration. Various community and state groups held many ceremonies in honour of those fought for the Irish Free State. With the local centenary celebrations underscored by the community deprivation and gangland feud killings, there was a scramble for change. Four of the local parishes came together in May and marched on the Home Monument for peace in the community. Government representatives met with community representatives in St. Laurence O’Toole national school to get an idea of issues facing the area. After the announcement of the community-based, government-led task force, the community came together to help each other in identifying issues and providing possible solutions to the new task force. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny & Minister for Public Expenditure Pascal Donohoe paid a visit to some of the smaller projects in the area. On a wet rainy day in August, there was a community day. Thanks to support from Croke Park, An Garda Síochana, Dublin City Council, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the Crinan Youth Project and The Fire Station Artist Studio and Urban Soul the NIC saw its first free – hopefully annual – community day. After consulting the public on the forthcoming national drugs strategy, Minister Byrne, tasked with delivering the new national drug strategy, paid a visit to a number of local projects to get a first-hand view of the issues faced by projects around the country.
As the year draws to a close, the weather gets colder and the need for compassion grows. With that in mind there a few special thanks we would like to make. Special thanks to Danny Cummins and his friends for their efforts for fundraising and collecting clothes for the homeless on the streets of Dublin. And to the Lotto and the Luas for supporting us with our client dinner. As well we would like to express special thanks to our friends in the Ripley Court Hotel for their endless efforts to support us support the community.
Lastly, we would like to say thank you to everyone for helping HOPE help the community. Without all of your help, we would not be able to do the job we do. ‘Ní neart go cur le cheile – there is no strength without unity’.
Merry Christmas from Everyone in H.O.P.E.