Rialto Youth Project in Rialto, Dublin 8
Cónall Thomas, in the Dublin Inquirer, writes:
Over four years, Fiona Whelan gathered stories from young people in Rialto in answer to the request: talk about a moment in your life when you felt powerful or powerless.
Many of the 60 anonymous accounts she collected had one thing in common: they touched on encounters with gardaí.
“I’d say I get stopped 20 times a month. 20 times a month just for walking around,” wrote one young man from Rialto. “I’d be walking, a Garda car would see me and stop and ask me where I’m going.”
As the project snowballed and interest grew, Whelan, an artist in residence at the Rialto Youth Project, and Jim Lawlor, the manager there, worked it into something practical: two modules that could be taught to gardaí during their training – to help them work better with children in the neighbourhood and further afield.
But while it looked for a while as if the modules might be taken up, almost a decade on they are still pushing for that to happen…