Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says victims of domestic abuse are being failed by this Government, which is not providing adequate services for women and children in the North East.  Minister Katherine Zappone has confirmed that there are no refuge services available in Cavan or Monaghan, and that Tusla is still “finalising the details of funding to be allocated to domestic violence services in 2017”.

Deputy Smith explained, “The situation in the North East is extremely serious and completely unacceptable. Domestic abuse victims in Cavan and Monaghan are being forced to rely on three refuge services in Louth and Meath – these services are already stretched, and it is unfair to expect families from Cavan and Monaghan to travel to Louth and Meath, especially if the children involved are in school.

“According to information from Minister Zappone, there are currently 147 family units of emergency refuge accommodation across the country.  It beggars belief that there is no refuge in either Cavan or Monaghan and I am urging the Minister and Tusla to make provisions for this important service as a matter of urgency.

“All victims who use these services are extremely vulnerable, and should not be forced to travel long distances to secure a place in a safe environment.  Any disruption for the children should be minimised, and that includes keeping them in a routine and at school.  If these families are forced to move to a different county, that is simply not possible.

“The Minister claims that “Tusla is looking at levels of need and will work with domestic violence services and all key stakeholders to ensure that appropriate responses are in place for those affected by domestic violence in counties Cavan and Monaghan”.  I am calling on her to ensure that appropriate refuge services are included in these “appropriate responses” so that the victims, who have been affected by domestic violence, can access the services they need in their own communities”, concluded Deputy Smith.