Darndale’s community spirit was to the fore at a 5K fun run as part of a campaign to steer young people away from addiction and crime.
The area was transformed into a hive of life and colour as hundreds of runners and their families descended on Darndale Park for the event, organised by local man and professional triathlete, Ger Redmond.
He is an ambassador for the Get The Message Out campaign, which promotes alternatives to crime and drug-related activity in the area.
The initiative informs young people and families of the dangers and alternatives to drugs and crime, supporting those wishing to exit that lifestyle.
Dublin Lord Mayor, Alison Gilliland, who ran the 5K, presented participants with commemorative medals and winners with their prizes.
The back of every medal included contact information for the Get The Message out campaign for those who may one day need it.
Get The Message Out was established by Northside Partnership to improve the lives of people in north-east Dublin and foster positive change.
According to Dr Jack Nolan, chair of the Darndale Economic and Social Plan implementation oversight group, such events are needed to show communities affected by drugs that they are not forgotten.
“We know we need to use every available means to positively help young people involved in the drug economy,” he said.
“Young people and their families need to know there is another way.
“The initiative provides support for young people and families caught up in drug-debt intimidation.
“And it encourages people to consider a different way of life by highlighting opportunities, services and activities available to help them to reach their full potential.”
Andrew Hyland was the winner of the men’s race, Chrissy Harford won the women’s event, while Faith Hanlon finished first in the children’s 1K. Winner of the teenagers’ 5K was Sam Conroy.
Mr Redmond, along with Archways Systemic Family Support and regional youth service Sphere 17, spearheaded the initiative with Get the Message Out members Northside Partnership, Donnycarney Youth Project, Dublin North East Drug and Alcohol Taskforce, Edenmore Drug Intervention Team, the Irish Prison Service, Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme, Kilmore West Youth Project and The Dales Centre.
Event partners included Brookhaven Family Support, Darndale FC, Elsa Security, Gardai and Dublin City Council, SuperValu, Women of Worth, young community leaders and local residents.