The Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern TD, today officially opened the new €3.4 million Tivoli Training Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, which has been funded by the Government.

The Minister said the design and re-construction of the centre caters for adult and young people who come under the auspices of the Probation Service.

Minister Ahern said: "The Government will continue to put resources into the valuable work of the Probation Service and the Irish Youth Justice Service which has such important functions to carry out."

"I am particularly pleased to be able to provide this significant funding so that the Tivoli Training Centre, which has operated in Dun Laoghaire for over 25 years, can continue to meet the emerging needs in this sector."

The Minister praised the partnership approach that has evolved between the Probation Service and the many Community Based Organisations throughout the country which work with the Service in enabling offenders make positive changes in their lifestyle and behaviour, become better citizens and work as contributing members of  their communities .

Minister Ahern continued : "My Department has continued to support this partnership approach with funding in excess of €15 million for 66 Adult Probation and Young Persons' Probation Projects this year."

The Tivoli Training Centre Board of Management are clear, focused and committed in the development of the new centre. The Centre has been working very effectively in the community since 1984. I would like to pay tribute to all the people associated with the project, and in particular, to Mrs Gisela Whyte for her long association with Tivoli Training Centre."

The new Tivoli Training Centre will offers certified accredited training, education and other services to empower participants in finding sustainable employment and access to further education as well as other positive opportunities and choices thereby reducing the risk of re-offending.

The Minister acknowledged the ongoing role played by Fás and the VEC in supporting Tivoli down through years, a role that is set to continue in the years ahead.

The Minister added: "I hope that as we face the start of a new era for Tivoli with all its - as yet - unwritten chapters that through our combined efforts we can and will make a difference in the lives of people in the community."

9 July 2010

Note for Editors

Information on the programmes to be run from the new Tivoli Training Centre.

The new programmes will be short in nature (6-12 weeks), goal orientated and strengths based, allowing participants to engage in different modules and gain accreditation in a variety of different disciplines in an achievable way.

Specific Programmes in 2010 will include:

• An introductory Summer educational programme re-establishing Tivoli Training Centre  as being open and welcoming of new participants and offering 'taster' programmes in  many areas: up to 40 participants
• A capacity building programme, brief intervention programmes, programmes responding  to community sanctions and a full-time educational programme: up to 60 participants
• A programme to support parents and their children: up to 20 participants
• A programme to support partners, siblings etc: up to 10 participants
• A programme to support offenders post release: up to 10 participants
• A programme to address alcohol and offending issues: up to 65 participants
• A programme supporting the work of the Garda youth diversion programmes, FÁS,  Youthreach etc: up to 10 participants
• A programme supporting the requirements of community service orders: up to 25  participants