Peter was referred by his Juvenile Liaison Officer Therese Flannery to Ennis Garda Youth Diversion Project (Ennis GYDP) when he was 16 years old. He remembers coming into the Junction to meet a member of the Clare Youth Service Youth Work Team, Shane Mulvey. He came to “sign the papers” and admits he didn’t know what to expect from the project. Reflecting back to his life before he came on the project he laughingly said he was definitely in “more trouble back then”. He was hanging around the streets a lot more and was getting into lots of physical arguments with people.
Peter was six months out of school when he came on to the project and hadn’t thought much about getting into any course. While chatting with staff members he agreed to try a
pre-Youthreach course in the summer months and proved he had the commitment needed to earn a place in a Youthreach course that was due to start in September of that year. Peter excelled in this course and was sent to Dublin to represent the Clare Youthreach at a weekend youth seminar.
Peter expressed an interest in taking the RSA Driver Theory Test. He was told that the project would pay for the exam if he put in the effort each week. He showed great determination and when he took the exam he passed with flying colours. He remembers thinking he wouldn’t pass and commented “I felt more than proud when I passed”. Clare Youth Service and An Garda Síochána teamed up to bring the UPS Road Code programme to Shannon. UPS Foundation’s global road hazard awareness programme involves classroom-based instruction and time ‘behind the wheel’ of a driving simulator. The aim of the programme is to help young people consider how to be safe in and around cars before they even start learning to drive. Peter completed this programme and also completed his Essential Driver Training and the project was happy to book his driving test after the commitment he showed to getting on the road. Peter recently completed his driving test and he passed with flying colours. Peter was dedicated and determined through the entire process and the project couldn’t be more proud.
Peter was on a court-appointed curfew when he first came to the project, having to sign on in the station each week. He was encouraged by staff to stick to it and did so and after a period of time, this was relaxed. Looking back on how the project helped him, Peter said that the project was “good for his head”. He enjoyed using his time to chat about things that were important in his life. One very important thing in his life was the arrival of his baby girl. Reflecting back, he remembers chatting about how becoming a father was going to change his life. We both reminisced about how nervous he was in the car on the way to the hospital and he knew things would have to change. The Ennis GYDP helped him keep “his head screwed on”. Getting into Youthreach was vital to having an income for his family and staying out of trouble “settled me for becoming a father”, he remarked. He feels the Ennis GYDP project was great for him saying “it helped to get me on the road with a family on the go”. Being able to drive is a great asset in a young man’s CV and this will allow him the ability to get to his place of employment and helps out hugely with his new family.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Peter’s fondest memories of the project are being thought how to fish. He was very quick to learn and fishes himself now. He feels it is a great way to pass the time and thanks the project for getting him into it. He feels it “keeps me occupied and out of trouble”. He remembers being proud of arriving back with fish to eat and recalls how “catching gets your blood pumping”. He like a lot of fishermen feels peace and quiet is good and enjoys “chilling”. “Tight Lines”, is a term often used to wish fellow fishermen good luck when fishing, we at the Ennis Garda Youth Diversion wish Peter “Tight Lines” as he navigates through adult life.