Community concern over planned closure of Southside Youth Hub

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Local councillor Catherine Slattery with Deputy Willie O'Dea at the Factory Youth Hub.

THE community on the southside of Limerick City is very concerned at the slated closure of The Factory Youth Hub run by Limerick Youth Services in Galvone.

Fianna Fáil councillor Catherine Slattery believes closing youth facility at the Galvone Industrial Estate is a big mistake.

“Not only will five people lose their positions and be deployed elsewhere in the city, but numerous sporting clubs in the southside and surrounding areas will also lose an indoor sports facility,” Cllr Slattery commented.

“This indoor sports facility provides soccer tournaments, blitz’s, soccer training to youths and clubs in the area. There is no other indoor sports facility in the immediate area and therefore it is crazy to close it down.

“It is well recognised that youths benefit from sports, they make friends and it has a very positive impact on mental health, which is something Limerick is struggling with. Why close down The Factory when it is doing such good in the area?” she asked.

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Cllr Slattery went onto say that workers at The Factory have advised her that lots of teenagers in the area use facility as a drop in centre to “chill out in the Youth Café where they can speak to other teenagers and relax together”.

“The workers are very upset that The Factory is going to close as they have developed bonds with these teenagers and feel moving will have a negative impact as they have gotten used to their surroundings.

“Limerick Youth Centre also use The Factory for many different services and while these services will still operate and remain on the southside, why move them elsewhere when there is a perfectly good place at The Factory? Granted it needs refurbishing, but I am sure Limerick City and County Council could afford to refurbish this building so it can stay open for the people and workers on the southside.”

Limerick TD Willie O’Dea also said he had numerous concerned citizens and organisations in touch with to express their shock and anger at the potential closure of The Factory youth facility.

“A huge amount of good work goes on there that literally keeps children and youths off the street and it would be a real shame if this facility was allowed to close,” he said.