Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and President of the Fianna Fáil Women’s Network Niamh Smyth has called for greater supports for women in situations of domestic violence.

Speaking on International Women’s Day, Deputy Smyth commented “I was delighted to be present to see the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Dáil Éireann this week. International Women’s Day allows us to stop and reflect on how far we have come in challenging the status quo while also planning for the next steps.

“This week the passing of the Terms of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence was an important next step. The convention reinforces the message that there can be no real equality between women and men if women experience gender-based violence on a large-scale and state agencies and institutions turn a blind eye.

“In my own constituency our community know all too well the most fatal consequences of domestic violence and have seen the family of Clodagh Hawe bravely campaign for their loved one.

“On this day I am calling on the government to ensure there are robust supports for women who are trying to leave domestic violence situations. This includes the delivery of women’s refuges across the country. In Cavan-Monaghan and in the West, there is little to no provision to assist women trying to leave cases of domestic violence. This must be corrected.

“In light of the ratification this week the government must step up their efforts to protect women across our island,” concluded Deputy Smyth.