Women’s Refuges at Breaking Point- Mayor Holland
Mayor of South Dublin Sarah Holland has highlighted the devastating effect years of funding cuts, coupled with the continuing housing crisis, is having on local women’s refuges.
Saoirse Women’s Refuges’ annual report showed that they had to turn away 494 families in 2014, or 81% of the total number of women who came to them seeking refuge.
Cllr Holland said:
“Women and children in need have literally no-one to turn to. Their last option is often a shelter and here we see over 80% of those seeking help had to be turned away.
“Women come to the refuges when all other options have been exhausted. They seek shelter and a safe place to stay for themselves and their children.
“Refuges are being stretched to breaking point and 2014 saw the highest numbers yet of women seeking help.
“We have grown used to reports of families sleeping in their cars or in the waiting rooms at Dublin Airport, and at the same time the papers are full of reports of millions of euros of taxpayer’s funds being used on vanity projects like Irish Water or the Eircode system.
“Surely the first people this supposed recovery should benefit are those most in need?
“It’s time we as a society got our priorities straight – we can’t keep leaving our most vulnerable citizens to sink or swim. We need to have proper support structures in place to help those who need it.
“The news this week that Cuan Alainn will be closed before the end of the year beggars belief. I will be entering a motion and seeking full cross party support demanding that funding be reinstated so that these women and their children can feel safe.
“Minister Alan Kelly said this week that there was no problem with funding, yet here we have a much needed women’s refuge in danger of closing because he won’t stump up the money.
“It is nimbyism, and it is having a devastating effect on women’s lives.
“I have called on him time and time again to step up to the plate, and I mean to ensure that every councillor supports this motion.”