|I’m posting this full article here taken from the local Southside people on Thursday, 06 May 2010. It is about the local youth in the St John Bosco youth centre on Davitt and their wish to talk Drimnagh UP, rather than Down.|
|LOCAL youth workers in Drimnagh have spoken out about the good work done by young people in the area in the face of consistent negative media coverage the locality has received in recent years, largely due to home grown feuding criminal gangs and anti-social activity.
Daniel Burke (20) is an adult leader responsible for a group of two dozen 15 to 18-year-olds, who are members of the Club 4 U youth club based at the St John Bosco Youth Centre in Drimnagh.
He told Southside People that young people in the area are being stigmatised because of the actions of a small minority of other locals and the coverage this has garnered in the press.
The area has also been the subject of endless column inches in the tabloid newspapers due to the ongoing internecine feuding between rival criminal gangs in the Drimnagh and Crumlin areas.
But Daniel said there were a lot of positive things happening in Drimnagh and that his youth group was at the forefront of trying to counteract the negative stereotypes associated with the area in recent media coverage.
“Every weekend in the tabloids Drimnagh is being scrutinised,” he argued. “We are constantly seeing that the next group of murderers are coming from our neighbourhood. With the constant bad publicity for Drimnagh it is making it hard for a person to admit he is from here when he goes elsewhere.
“Newspapers claim to be exposing crime but we all know that in reality they are just glorifying these people. The impression people have of Drimnagh is that it is some sort of gangland ghetto but after living here for all of the 20 years of my life I know this is not the case.”
Daniel said the teenage members of the Drimnagh Club 4 U were currently involved in a variety of different projects to try and positively engage with the community.
“So far we have helped out the local church with the reconstruction of Good Friday and the Stations of the Cross and we acted in a play,” he pointed out. “At Halloween we had a function for all the old people of the Dublin 12 area. We competed against other clubs in the area in a variety show and we won best overall and a prize for best song as well.”
He added: “There are 26 young people involved in the youth club and they meet regularly and socialise among themselves. We organise video nights so they can sit down together. We also help doing up their CVs so they will have a better chance of getting a job.”
Daniel said that gangs of young people congregating at different locations around the area often intimidated older people. To combat this the youth group was trying to reach out to the elderly in the area to gain their trust.
“We are trying to build up relationships between the young and old people in the area,” he stressed.
“Sometimes older people would be walking down the road and they see a gang of young people. Perhaps they would see a gang as a bad thing and might try to avoid them.
“But if they meet our young people and see a familiar face they might feel more comfortable walking down the road. We are trying to develop trust between them. Our young members are prepared to go to the shop for them if they haven’t got relatives to look after them.
Daniel added that the youth club had also been in contact with Crumlin children’s hospital about the possibility of its members visiting and offering companionship for some of the long stay sick kids there.
“Some of them in the hospital would be 13 or 14 years of age and we would like to send in some of our own teenagers to talk to them and keep them company.”
“The negative coverage of the community can be countered by a showcase of the positive things that we have,” he added. “Maybe people want to focus more on the bad things but there a lot of good things out there as well in this community.”