"Deputy Thomas P. Broughan:I thank the Ceann Comhairle for finally allowing me to raise this important issue in the House.
The Rehabilitation and Support Programme, RASP, is an outstanding community-based anti-drugs programme based in north Coolock, Dublin 17. Sphere 17 is a local youth service catering for young people aged 10 to 21 who also live in Dublin 17. Even though both RASP and Sphere 17 provide absolutely critical services for my constituents in the Dublin 17 and related areas, incredibly, they both are under serious threat. RASP has been told its funding will be cut by 34% this year and they face the prospect of being axed completely in 2011.
RASP is led by chairperson Mr. Kevin Behan and CEO Mr. Pat Hanna, and was originally sponsored by the Moatview/Fairfield Development Association in Priorswood, Dublin 17. In 2000, it was mainstreamed and its yearly funding allocation is just under €200,000, but now Mr. Behan and Mr. Hanna have been told by the Department of Education and Science that their budget for 2010 has been reduced, as I stated, by approximately 34% to just €134,000."