Robert Troy TD, Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs today called for the immediate reversal of the savage cuts made to ‘Longford Women’s Link’ and the reinstatement of the Garda domestic violence training programme for recruits.

Deputy Troy was speaking in the Dáil this week in a debate about domestic violence. He referred to ‘savage’ cuts to ‘Longford’s Women’s Link’, a service in Longford which has supported 1,500 women who have suffered domestic abuse since 2005.  In 2013, it assisted 248 women and has supported 242 women this year to the end of October.  “These figures are scandalous in a county the size of Longford.   HSE and Tusla funding for domestic violence services has been cut by 17%, while funding for the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime’s domestic court accompaniment service has been reduced by 26%.  Family Support Agency funding for counselling services has also been reduced by 47%.  This is not good enough.  If we are honest about addressing this issue, we must protect and sustain these services. I call on Minister Fitzgerald to reverse these cuts and ensure this service is supported into the future,” continued Deputy Troy.

“There has been 11,000 domestic violence incidents reported this year but in only 287 cases has somebody got arrested. One of the reasons for the low number of arrests for domestic violence is the insufficient level of training provided to Gardaí. The Garda domestic violence training programme for recruits has been axed as a result of a lack of funding from the Department of Justice.  The programme based in the Garda College in Templemore was run by people who deal with rape victims on an ongoing basis.  Minister Fitzgerald must reintroduce the programme if we are to be serious about tackling domestic abuse,” concluded Deputy Troy.