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Anger as Education Minister John O'Dowd axes youth body funds

By Staff Reporter

Published 11/12/2015

Education Minister John O’Dowd
Education Minister John O’Dowd

Sinn Fein Education Minister John O'Dowd has been lambasted for making a decision that will effectively see the end of the Youth Council.

The council, established in 1989, has an annual budget of £3.9m, with 81% going directly in grants to 37 regional youth bodies such as the Boys' Brigade, Girls' Brigade, Scouts and Girl Guides.

Mr O'Dowd yesterday announced that all youth services funded by his department would in future be provided for through the Education Authority.

Youth Council chief executive David Guilfoyle voiced his "deep disappointment" with the decision, adding he was concerned for the services it provides.

"We were hopeful that the overwhelming, cross-party support which we received at the recent Education Committee meeting, coupled with the wholly positive response to our work, which came back from the consultation, might have convinced him to retain the Youth Council," he said.

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