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Minister Humphreys announces new structures to drive delivery for Drogheda

Jul 8, 2021

The Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys TD today announced new national and local structures which will drive and co-ordinate a plan to increase safety and wellbeing in Drogheda.

Minister Humphreys welcomed a commitment from Martin O’Brien, the chief executive of the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board, that the LMETB will host new structures to deliver services in Drogheda.

The Drogheda Implementation Board will be the core driver and co-ordinator of change in Drogheda through the actions to be outlined in the Drogheda Implementation Plan, which will be brought to Cabinet and published by Minster Humphreys before the summer break.

Minster Humphreys also welcomed Michael Keogh, a former senior official in the Department of Education who is from Drogheda, as the chair of the Drogheda Implementation Board.

Mr Keogh drove significant projects and implemented change in the education sector in his almost 20 years in the Department of Education. He also worked in the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social Protection and the Central Statistics office.

The Drogheda Implementation Plan arises from the Scoping Report into Community Safety and Wellbeing in Drogheda from Vivian Guerin, former director of the Probation Service, and which was published by Minister Helen McEntee earlier this year. It was commissioned by Minister McEntee in August 2020.

The scoping report comprehensively addresses the ongoing challenges and needs experienced by communities in Drogheda and identifies opportunities to connect, support and strengthen services in the area.

In addition to the Drogheda Implementation Group, the Department of Justice will lead national oversight to ensure strategic direction, action planning and the delivery of the Drogheda Implementation Plan.

Minister Humphreys said:

I am pleased to announce new structures which will drive delivery for Drogheda and its people, and I particularly welcome the assistance being provided by Martin O’Brien and the Louth and Meath Education Training Board.

I am also pleased that Michael Keogh, a Drogheda native, has agreed to chair the Drogheda Implementation Board.

I look forward to bringing the Drogheda Implementation Plan to Cabinet before the summer break and to working with the LMETB and Michael Keogh to improve the safety and wellbeing of Drogheda and its people.

The Drogheda Implementation Plan will outline how the recommendations outlined in the scoping exercise will be implemented. It is a priority for me and the Department of Justice, and my Department is already working with colleagues across a range of Government Departments and agencies to provide help and support to Drogheda.

In addition to the local structures hosted by the LMETB and chaired by Michael Keogh, the Department of Justice will provide national oversight to ensure the Drogheda Implementation Plan is delivered upon.

The Department of Justice is engaging with the team in LMETB and Michael Keogh to get the new structure up and running and I look forward to visiting Drogheda in the coming weeks.

While there are some existing structures in Drogheda aimed at maximising coordination of strategic approaches as well as service delivery in relation to tackling crime and drugs, there is a need to further develop such coordination.

The LMETB will support the co-ordination across State services and agencies to deliver for Drogheda and its people by creating opportunities and providing support for the communities.