Yesterday, I highlighted the plight of those experiencing Domestic Violence in the Midlands in the Seanad.
Offaly County Council is being pushed to provide safe houses, for victims of Domestic Violence.
They were asked to do so out of their housing allocation, as a matter of urgency. But the council response was that they needed more time. I understand anyone’s plea for more time, but when we face a crisis, time is often something we have little of.
Recently I met with Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service, and it’s obvious that victims do not have more time. They cannot wait. This cannot wait. People in these areas need help now, and I urge Offaly Co Council to act now.
I welcomed the publication of the Tusla review of accommodation services for victims of Domestic Violence.
Following the publication of the Tusla review, Ministers McEntee and O’Gorman listed Laois, Westmeath and Longford for prioritisation for the urgent provision of family units.
I know Laois Domestic Abuse Service has been campaigning for many years for a refuge, and Portlaoise has been prioritised for 8 family places. Laois County Council are collaborating to identify a suitable site – hopefully as soon as possible. We need to see the same level of prioritisation for Offaly.
Minister McEntee will outline timelines and structures for the delivery of safe accommodation and refuge places as part of the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (DSGBV). I understand that this strategy will be published in April, and I look forward to reviewing it with a Midlands lens.
Watch my Seanad speech here: