Minister of State at the Department of Justice James Browne TD., Newry, Mourne and Down District Council chairperson Valarie Harte, Head of local youth services Lyndsey Braniff and Senator Erin McGreehan visited the Dolmen Centre in Omeath on Thursday 10th August to meet young people from Omeath and Warrenpoint who were attending a weeklong cross border Summer Splash Youth Initiative. The programme aimed to help young people feel safe, have a renewed sense of belonging and to provide opportunities for them to contribute within their communities. The Initiative is being run as a partnership between NM&DDC, The Education Authority (Crotlieve) and Omeath District Development CLG -Steering & Sparring Youth Programme.

Lynsey Branniff, Education Authority Head of Local Youth Services, commented, “The Education Authority is delighted to be involved in this cross-border partnership programme about water safety for young people in the Carlingford Lough area. As a service, we focus our efforts on supporting young people’s learning about the dangers and risks involved. Summer Splash has been a fun-filled week of activities with a serious message about how our children and young people can stay safe.

“Thanks to our partners in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the PCSP and colleagues in Omeath District Development Association who collaborated with us on the programme, to ensure positive outcomes for young people.”

Cllr Valarie Harte Chairperson of NM&DDC commented “I am delighted to see first-hand the delivery of the Knife & Edged Weapon Awareness Programme for young people facilitated by Mark Montgomery, and truly inspired by Aidan Walsh’s Mental Health outdoor training session and motivational talk and would like to thank both Mark and Adain for coming today and facilitating the session. It is not every day the young people of the area get to meet Olympic and commonwealth medallists.

The programme was funded through numerous agencies including The Department of Justice Ireland Community Safety Innovation Fund, Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), NM&DDC Community Engagement Dept and the Education authority.