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Ford praises GAA on commitment to shared future

Justice Minister, David Ford, has praised the GAA for its continued commitment to community engagement and a shared future.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A key priority for my Department and the Executive is a shared future for all. It is clear that the GAA have a similar vision through its programmes of work, which complement that of my Department on a shared future strategy

Minister of Justice David Ford MLA,Northern Ireland Department of Justice

The Minister met with representatives of the Ulster GAA Council at GAA HQ in Co.Armagh today to discuss a range of issues of mutual interest, which included the GAA’s cross-community initiatives.

David Ford said: “A key priority for my Department and the Executive is a shared future for all. It is clear that the GAA have a similar vision through its programmes of work, which complement that of my Department on a shared future strategy.

“Ulster President Aogan Ó Fearghail and I discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, including the GAA’s Outreach Programme and ‘Live to Play’ campaign.

“I was impressed with the commitment of the GAA in developing their sport. Their role, however, goes well beyond that and I was equally impressed with the level of continued engagement with Government departments and the emergency services, including the PSNI and An Garda Síochána, as the GAA continues to deliver the ‘Live to Play’ campaign.

“The GAA’s ‘Game of Three Halves’, in partnership with the IFA and Ulster Rugby further demonstrates its commitment to promoting good community relations.”

Whilst in Co. Armagh David Ford welcomed the opportunity to meet with partners of the Armagh City and District Council’s Community Crime Alert Scheme and witnessed the benefits of the Scheme during a visit to the home of Mrs Nancy McDevitt.

David Ford said: “The safety of older people, ensuring they live free from crime and the fear of crime, is an important issue for the Department of Justice and is included in the Programme for Government.

“Whilst actual crimes against older and vulnerable people are thankfully rare, the impact of a burglary or violent crime has a disproportionate impact on an elderly person and their ability to cope.

“The new Community Safety Strategy sets out the priorities for action in addressing fear of crime and ensuring that older and vulnerable people feel safe.

“I was pleased to see how the strategy is being implemented in Armagh and hear about the benefits from Mrs McDevitt.”

Notes to editors

  1. The GAA delegation consisted of Aogan Ó Fearghail, President of the Ulster Council, Danny Murphy, Provincial Director, Aileen Cummins, Community Development Manager and Ryan Feeney, Head of Strategy and Public Affairs.
  2. The Armagh Community Crime Alert scheme was established in 2004 and has benefited over 1000 participants. It is jointly funded by Armagh City and District Council and Armagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
  3. The scheme aims to reduce the potential for elderly people to become victims of domestic and distraction burglary and is available to residents aged 65+ living in the Armagh City and District Council area who have been a victim of domestic burglary or living with a real fear of crime taking place. The scheme has recently been extended to include victims of domestic violence who are referred through the PSNI. The project is not means tested.
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office, 028 905 6444.  Out of hours – please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.