Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has expressed disappointment with the Children’s Minister for failing to ring-fence funding for emergency domestic violence accommodation.

He was responding to a Parliamentary Reply from Minister Katherine Zappone, which states that Tusla “has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, whether in the context of the family or otherwise”.

Deputy Smith commented, “I am very disappointed by the lack of priority which is being afforded to victims of domestic violence across Cavan and Monaghan, and this latest answer from Minister Zappone relating to funding for facilities does nothing to ease my concerns.

“Families affected by domestic violence, who need to leave their home, are forced to travel to Louth or Meath to be guaranteed places in a refuge because there is no emergency accommodation available in either Cavan or Monaghan.  This can cause huge upheaval for children, because not only are they no longer near their school, they are also further away from friends and other family members.

“I have been calling for a refuge for Cavan and Monaghan for some time.  The Tearmann Domestic Abuse Service provides brilliant supports to women and children across the two counties, but we need more.  Emergency accommodation needs to be provided.

“In her reply to me, Minister Zappone claimed that “additional requirements for services, in particular in areas where emergency domestic violence accommodation is not currently available, including Cavan and Monaghan, will be considered as part of Tusla’s commissioning processes in 2019. Tusla has engaged with stakeholders in the Cavan/Monaghan area about developments in this regard”.

“I will continue to pursue this issue with the Minister and Tusla to ensure that an accommodation service is made a priority in the 2019 budget”, concluded Deputy Smith.