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Ferris to demand Sexual Assault Unit for Kerry General Hospital

3 October, 2007

Kerry North Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris is to attempt to have the business of the Dáil adjourned this evening to ask that a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit be established in Kerry General Hospital as a matter of urgency.

Speaking this morning Deputy Ferris said: "I have raised this issue on numerous occasions and yet despite a commitment to provide funding it would appear that we are no closer to having the unit re-opened.

"Since the original facility in Tralee was closed in 2003 victims of sexual violence in Kerry have had to travel as far as Cork or sometimes even to Waterford in order to undergo what is already a traumatic examination procedure. That is unacceptable.

"Pressure from many quarters appeared eventually to have borne fruit when the Department said that the necessary funding would be made available. Unfortunately since then there has been no evidence that practical steps have been taken to re-open the facility. That is why I am again raising this issue in the hope that it will encourage the Minister to ensure that the promise to re-open the unit is honoured." ENDS

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