The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, today announced funding approval of over €5 million for a new Domestic Violence Refuge in Wexford…
The project is being advanced by the Wexford Women’s Refuge group who have secured a site with the assistance of Wexford County Council.
Wexford Women’s Refuge provide a safe, confidential, non-judgemental support service for women experiencing violence in County Wexford & respite from all other areas. They provide information along with crisis accommodation to women about their future options.
They have now finalised their design and have secured funding approval from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to go to tender.
The development of additional Domestic Violence Refuge spaces is a priority for the Government, particularly in the context of the imminent publication of the Third Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Strategy 2022-2026. In February, the Government published a ‘Review of the Provision of Accommodation for Victims of Domestic Violence’ carried out by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
That review highlighted gaps in the geographical coverage of safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence. Work is actively underway across Government to advance new projects to meet the needs identified in the Tusla review and the early advancement of the new build Refuge in Wexford is an important action in helping to meet that need.
Minister O’Brien commented:
“I’m delighted to be confirming over €5 million funding commitment from my Department, for the capital costs to develop a new, high quality refuge at Maudlinstown in Wexford. This funding approval will allow the Wexford Women’s Refuge group to go to tender and I hope they will soon complete that process and move to commencing the construction as soon as possible, with the full support of my Department and Wexford County Council. The Government’s commitment to support new refuges around the country is strong and clear, and nothing backs this up as clearly as the commitment we are giving to the new Wexford Refuge. I want to thank the local group for their hard work and their expertise, in producing a high quality design which we anticipate will soon be under construction.”
Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said:
“In February, when it was announced that service provision for victims would come under my remit, I said that it was my goal that everyone that needs a refuge space will get one.
This announcement today by my colleague Minister O’Brien is an important step in reaching that goal. It demonstrates the Government commitment to achieving our aim of a society where there is zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women.
We are in no doubt that as a State we need to dramatically increase the provision of refuges across the country, and key to this will be ensuring organisations, like the Wexford Women’s Refuge group, can access the funding needed to do so.
I have established a high level Inter-Departmental Group to review the current system for the provision of refuge spaces and to identify changes that can be made to the system to deliver additional spaces as effectively as possible.
My intention is that the timelines for delivery of these places, as well as further targets for nationwide delivery of refuge accommodation, will be outlined in the third National Strategy to combat Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence and further detail will be contained in the accompanying action plan.”
Speaking about this important development, Wexford’s James Browne, the current Minister of State at the Department of Justice, said:
“Today is an important day for the people of Wexford. The additional spaces that will result from this funding announced by Minister O’Brien, and the work of the Wexford Women’s Refuge group and Wexford County Council, will mean that more women in Wexford will be provided with a route of escape in a time of desperate need.
We know that for women who are suffering domestic violence, leaving their home can be the most dangerous time. Today’s announcement means that in the future, when it comes to making that difficult decision, those women can at least be assured that they will be offered a safe place to stay in a state of the art facility, designed with their needs in mind.”
For more information on the Wexford Women’s Refuge group, you can check out their website here.
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