Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Fiona O’Loughlin says the Government needs to step up its efforts to tackle domestic violence.

Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments after raising the issue with Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald. The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality will attend a Women’s Aid conference on Friday in support of ‘UN Day on Opposing Violence against Women’.

“Domestic violence is a huge issue affecting family’s right across the country. There were some 22,341 reports of domestic abuse against women and children made to Women’s Aid in 2015. It is feared that many other cases simply go unreported,” explained Deputy O’Loughlin.

“Fine Gael committed to bringing forward new measures for tackling domestic violence. The initial draft of the ‘Domestic Violence Bill’ was published in July 2015, but we are still waiting for the Government to progress the Bill further. There’s simply no sense of urgency coming from Government in dealing with this crisis.

“I have raised this issue in the Dáil with Minister Francis Fitzgerald and have asked her to set out a clear timeline for the progression of this important Bill. The timeline remains unclear but it is something which Fianna Fáil will continue to push for. It’s important that we get cross party agreement on the proposals and put them into operation as quickly as possible.

“I look forward to attending Women’s Aid conference to mark the UN’s effort to tackle domestic violence. The campaign to address domestic violence can’t be allowed to fall down the Government agenda,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.