Local councillor for Balbriggan electoral area, Tony Murphy (IA) has described the latest census figures, which show Balbriggan as the town with the youngest population, as a wake up call for all.
He said, “Reality dawns when you see the latest statistics from the CSO office. The upside for Balbriggan is that a young population is a fantastic asset pool for the future, however what the numbers reflect in reality is that there are 6,000 children under the age of 14 years, which is a little over 25 per cent of the total population. When you don’t have the family support services in place, then you will have a lot of issues not being addressed.”
He continued, “Balbriggan needs a family resource centre. These are unique to each area and offer many services such as parenting skills courses, advice on the role of young fathers, assistance for young mothers and those parenting alone and support for young teens at risk.”
“Support services in Balbriggan are seriously under resourced and underfunded. We have at present one senior youth officer and no frontline youth workers. Volunteers are picking up the mantle, but this is unsustainable without realistic support and resources.
Cuis drug and alcohol taskforce has three workers to cover Rush, Lusk, Skerries, Naul, Garristown and Balbriggan.”
“The Department of Social Protection needs to recognise the demand for more support in the Balbriggan area and act now,” he concluded.