Staff sit in protest at Brookfield Youth and Community Centre continues

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One of the six workers taking part in the occupation protest at BYCC this morning said he and his colleagues will keep going until the centre is reopened and their jobs are secured.

Kieran Walsh was one of the staff members who was informed without notice last week that the locks would be would be changed at 5pm (last) Friday and all staff were to be made redundant.

“We’re all grand, morale is good and we’re still hanging in there” Kieran told InTallaght this morning.

“Negotiations are still ongoing with SIPTU and SDCC since Monday so we’ll just have to wait to see how they go.

“We don’t have anything further to say with regard to those negotiations.

“What has happened has been a shock to everyone but we’ll continue to carry on with our sit-in protest until things have been resolved.

“We want an assurance our community centre will be re-opened and our jobs will be secured.

“Until then we will continue to hang on.”

SIPTU say the centre is vital to the community and are urging SDCC to find a solution,

“Between them the centre’s five staff have 50 years’ experience helping deliver community services.”

“South Dublin County Council own the building and have made no contact with staff.

“The closure of the centre with the loss of five jobs directly, as well as several TUS and Jobs Initiative positions, will have a huge impact on the local community. The same community which fought for over 20 years to have the centre built.”

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and Dublin South West TD Katherine Zappone said yesterday her office is working closely with South Dublin County Council and the local Education and Training Board to keep activities for more than 1,000 children going. The services are funded through the Minister’s Department.

“In addition work is also going on to facilitate the re-opening of the Youth and Community Centre. Officials from my own office are engaged with both the Council and the Training Board to achieve this goal.

“We are not aware that the centres closure was the result in any shortfall in funding and my Department did not receive any requests for additional investment or support.

“As a local TD and Minister for Children I remain committed to delivering services to our young people in their local areas.

“I urge all to work closely to ensure a resolution to the current dispute and a return of youth services to their rightful home in the Brookfield Centre.”

People Before Profit are also backing the workers and asking SDCC to safeguard the provision of the vital services BYCC provide to the community.

“BYCC provide a vital service to the community with five workers collectively having 50 years experience between them.

“BYCC also provides a base for Foroige and the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board. South Dublin County Council owns the building but has made no contact with the staff.

“Staff were offered 4 weeks pay in lieu of notice. This offer is completely unacceptable.

“There is no substitution for the staff’s experience and the service they provide to the community.

“The staff want BYCC to stay open and want the council to intervene to ensure the service stays open.”