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Brendan (aged13) interviews Joe, Chairperson of FGU.*

 Brendan            Joe, tell me about the FGU.

Joe                   The FGU is a local group here that works with all the residents groups to help make Fatima a better place to be.

Brendan            What does it mean?

Joe                   It means Fatima Groups United.

Brendan            Who is on FGU?

Joe                   All the different groups that work here, so you have the Homework Club, or the Children and Adults Development Project, the Rialto Community Drug Team, the Community Centre, the residents group, the ARK will be on the committee soon enough. Do you know them?

Brendan            No.

Joe                   The Ark is the crowd that does the art here, stuff like the Calendar. Then you have the people who work for FGU, like the Creche and the Community Employment Scheme (the CE Centre). They are all employees but are on FGU.

Brendan            When did the FGU begin?

Joe                   I think around 1995.

Brendan            What kind of work does FGU do?

Joe                   What FGU tries to do is help deal with the problems going on in the flats, and work for people in the area …..  mostly what we try to do is try towork together, to sing with one voice to make the place a better place to be.That’s what we do.

Brendan            What is your job on FGU?

Joe                   I am the Chairperson

Brendan            What memory stands out most from working in the flats?

Joe                   One was the Halloween Event, a couple of years ago. The local band In Your Face, performed on the Canal live. The big thing about that event was that we had loads of people involved. For the first time in a long, long time it was like people were involved to make Fatima a better place.. That’s one of my best memories.

Brendan.           What is FGU’s plan for the new Fatima?

Joe                   We’ve just finished draft plans that are going to Dublin Corporation and to other people who make decisions around what will happen. Our plans are that all the residents in Fatima Mansions will get  a house that will meet their needs; a nice house…that they will have a choice and all the community workers that are here working with the young people and old people, whatever, will have good quality buildings to work in. That’s what we’d hope.

Brendan            What will the new Fatima offer the children growing up in the flats today?

Joe                   Hopefully, hope, employment, a different way from what has happened in previous years. Hopefully people will proud of living in the flats and hopefully get jobs that they like and that they want and they would want to remain in education….

Brendan            Well Joe, Thanks!    

*  Since this interview Joe has been appointed Project Leader of the Fatima Groups United.


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