Major Study Highlights Community Needs in East Galway City Areas

Monday, 2 November 2009

- Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun - A new report to be launched today (Monday, 2 November) looks at the future of a part of Galway City which, in recent years, has seen the highest population growth of any district outside of Dublin. The study was commissioned by a local community group, the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun Planning and Strategy Committee. This major report into the communities of Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun was undertaken by NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office. The 'Profile, Needs Analysis and Action Plan' study highlights a number of very distinct traits of the area and points to developments which are urgently required to pave the way for the future. According to the report, a combination of facilities and development supports is crucial, given the area's youth, its multi-cultural mix, its high degree of transience and a perceptible rise in unemployment. In the past decade, the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun (DRA) area in the East of Galway City has witnessed phenomenal population growth. The population has grown from around 200 people in the year 2000, to its present day figure of 7,280. The area is also notable for the exceptional youth of its population, more than a quarter of the area's population (26.6%) are children aged 15 or younger. In total, there are almost 2000 children living in the DRA area who are obliged to travel outside of the area in order to attend school, until new schools approved for the area open in 2012. Among much needed developments identified in the study, the most important are considered to be: the opening of the two approved schools; the development of a multi-purpose Neighbourhood Centre; an expansion of youth services; and the delivery of community development supports. More than two in five households (41.5%) are living in private rented accommodation in the DRA area, which is four times higher than the national average. The area is also markedly multi-cultural, with at least 33 different nationalities living in the area, with one in three (33.4%) of all residents being non-Irish nationals. Commenting about the Report, Seamus O'Grady, Director of Adult and Continuing Education, NUI Galway, said: "The report highlights the importance of local community action and collaboration with development agencies. It documents significant priority developments that need to be addressed in the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun areas. As a city, Galway has seen massive change over the last decade and elements of society need to come together to shape a successful future for our young people. The University is delighted to have played a role in progressing local needs through this research report. NUI Galway will continue to work in cooperation with DRA, Galway City Council and other local development interests in furthering the development capacity of the East side of Galway City". The report was funded by NUI Galway, Galway City Council, the Galway Diocese and McInerney's Properties.
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