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Youth Action Ballina (YAB)

Garda Youth Diversion Project


Youth Action Ballina is a Garda Youth Diversion Project.  The project known locally as YAB was established in Ballina in October 2000 and covers the geographical boundary of Ballina and it’s immediate hinderland.  Funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform / Irish Youth Justice Service and co-funded by the European Social Fund.

 Garda Youth Diversion Projects are part supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

The project is a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative which aims to help young people move away from behaving in a way that might get them or their friends into trouble with the law. The project can also help young people develop their sense of community and social skills through different activities.

Aims of YAB:

  • To offer intervention in the form of an outreach youth service to the lives of young people outside of school or home in order to divert alienated young people from becoming involved in Crime, Drugs and Substance Abuse, Vandalism and Anti-Social behaviour
  • Provide support and educational opportunities through I.T. programmes, and personal development

Objectives of YAB:

To address the needs of those alienated young people who are at risk of becoming or continuing in conflict with the law, by promoting a more positive use of their leisure time.  The strategy of engagement is:
  • Befriending and working directly with alienated young people at greatest risk of becoming in conflict with the law
  • Support and assist these young people who are already involved in the Juvenile Liaison Officer, Probation and Welfare services or TUSLA, Child & Family Agency.
  • To empower these alienated young people to begin to take control of their own lives based on a Developmental Group Work Model of Work
  • Provide this group of young people with the opportunity of taking part in creative, healthy and constructive activities which would not otherwise be available to them such as: 
    • Recreational opportunities – such as outdoor pursuits, indoor and outdoor sporting activities.
    • Personal Development – aimed at developing awareness among this target group of how better to understand themselves, the community and the society in which they live incorporating communication skills and inter-personal relationships.
    • Health Awareness – that creates a greater understanding of the importance of health through programmes dealing with diet, substance/drug abuse and aids.
    • Education – programmes that monitor the progress of these young people through regular liaison with external agencies.
    • The Family - programmes that require positive liaison with the families of alienated young people involved in the project to enable parents to respond in a more effective way to the needs of these young people.

Youth Action Ballina offers a wide range of opportunities for education, employment, training, sports, art, outdoor pursuits and other activities. The YAB project seeks to encourage a better quality of life for everyone in the community and to support good relations between the Gardai and the community.

Some of the Programmes are available in YAB:

Outdoor Education Skills: providing mental and physical challenges and achievements for all abilities, which maybe difficult to provide in the more formal teaching situation. Examples include Orienteering and Hill Walking.
Finding Your Way: A mixture of orienteering and questionnaire that challenges participants to locate a control (question), select one of three answers and move on to the next control (question), returning to finish for a group evaluation.
Health Awareness: A dual programme of alcohol and anger management.
Education and Training: through I.T. and personal development programmes.


Contact Details:


Youth Justice Worker:  Micheal Kenny  087 184 3897
Youth Justice Worker:  Louise Burke
Millview Crescent Community Centre, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Tel: 096 70615
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