Smith reiterates call for greater supports for victims of domestic abuse across Cavan-Monaghan

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith has said every effort must be made to ensure the delivery of a new refuge for victims of domestic abuse in Cavan and Monaghan, without delay.

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Tusla have confirmed to me again that Cavan/Monaghan is a priority area for the development of refuge accommodation and they state that every effort will be made to ensure this happens as speedily as possible.

“Last June, the Government launched Zero Tolerance, the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. One of the overarching goals is to ensure that everyone who needs a refuge space will get one and over the lifetime of the strategy, the Government intends to double the number of refuge spaces.

“The Government’s ambitious strategy is to be welcomed as it is paramount that there are robust supports in place so that victims of domestic violence can access the services they need.

“Unfortunately, we all know of the increased violence over the last number of years, particularly against women. In my constituency work, I encounter families who are going through terrible torment and a very difficult time.

“I understand that a group of stakeholders has met a number of times this year, with a view to beginning plans to establish the refuge in Cavan/Monaghan. Key statutory bodies, including Tusla, the Department of Housing, the Department of Justice, Cavan and Monaghan County Councils and An Garda Síochána have been engaged in these meetings, along with the local domestic violence organisation, Tearmann/Safe Ireland.  Steps have been taken through engagement with the two County Councils to identify a suitable site.

“I also understand that the Government will establish a new Domestic Violence Agency in 2024. This Agency will play a lead role in ensuring that plans for refuges are delivered over the coming years. The agency will have a specific mandate to drive the implementation of the Zero Tolerance strategy across Government, bringing the expertise and focus required to tackle this complex social issue.”

Deputy Brendan Smith concluded by saying that the utmost urgency must now be attached to the provision of this much-needed accommodation for people who find themselves in an awfully difficult position.