Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has said that he is “appalled” at the proposed closure of Dundalk Women’s Refuge which he says will affect women across Counties Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.
Carthy was responding to a statement released this evening from Women’s Aid which said that the centre has been forced to close due to government cuts.
The Midlands Northwest candidate said:
“I am absolutely appalled at the idea that Dundalk women’s refuge is being forced to close due to government cuts.
“This will not only place the women of Dundalk and wider Co. Louth at risk but will also impact on women in Cavan and Monaghan as neither county has the adequate level of services for women in crisis situations.
“The Women’s Aid refuge in Dundalk had received funding under Section 10 of Local Authority funding which was initially cut by 66%. Despite negotiations with the council, the refuge was this year allocated a piecemeal €20,000 to run the centre. This represents a cut of 75%. Due to this reckless cut this vital service has now been forced to close its doors as of June 2014.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that this has been allowed to happen and is a direct result, I believe, of the policies of this Fine Gael-led government which considers services for the most vulnerable an easy target.
“This may be little more than numbers on a page to our government representatives, but behind those numbers are women and children in very often extreme danger.
“This cut will put women and children in direct risk.
“Sinn Féin councillors in the Dundalk area are working to ensure that a special sitting of Louth County Council is convened to deal specifically with this issue. I believe this needs to happen as a priority but I would also appeal to the government to step in and ensure that this vital, life-saving service is not lost.”