Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his ‘shock and anger at the cuts to funding which will force the Women’s Aid Refuge in Dundalk to close its doors on June 27th.’
Gerry Adams has called for the Minister to withdraw the National Directive which is forcing Louth County Council to cut its funding to Dundalk Women’s Aid.
The Louth TD said:
“Hundreds of thousands of euro have been cut from Women’s Aid in Dundalk, Drogheda Women’s Refuge and Rape Crisis North East over recent years by this government.
“Women’s Aid Dundalk is in the frontline of helping victims of domestic violence. It provides a 24/7 service. Last year the demand on its services was such that it was unable to accommodate 293 requests for refuge. One consequence of this is that Drogheda Women’s Refuge which has limited space will now have to cope with victims from Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.
“The loss of the Dundalk service will leave hundreds of women and children vulnerable to continued domestic violence.
“The reality is that services and support for women and children experiencing abuse in the home is at an all-time low.
“It is also well documented that in times of recession instances of domestic violence against women increase dramatically.
“That is why domestic violence services aimed at protecting vulnerable women and their families should be made an absolute priority. This is not the case across the state and is not the situation in the Louth area.
“The programme for Government contained a commitment to introduce consolidated and reformed domestic violence legislation to address all aspects of domestic violence, threatened violence and intimidation in a manner that provides protection to victims.
“This echoed commitments in both Labour and Fine Gael’s election manifesto. Indeed the Labour party manifesto went further containing a commitment to ‘protect funding for frontline services, such as family refuges, and draw on best international practice to reform the way the courts system deals with domestic abuse case’.
Clearly this hasn’t happened. The government needs to honour its commitments, reverse the cutbacks and acknowledge the extent of this problem.
“Domestic violence is a significant problem that will not go away and is a cause of great hurt and hardship. The legislative and practical steps needed to provide for victims and prosecute abusers are known. It needs political will by government to make it happen.”
Note to Editor:
Louth County Council say that they are forced to reduce funding by 75% on 2012 funding to Women’s Aid Dundalk because of a National Directive which sets a low limit on available funding.
The closure of Dundalk Women’s Aid will see the Louth Cavan and Monaghan region fall to 57% below the recommended European level of refuse provision.