Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality

Women's Shelters and Domestic Abuse Refuges: Discussion

Photo of Réada CroninRéada Cronin (Kildare North, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses for their presentations. I listened intently. Unfortunately, I am not a member of the committee so I did not receive the opening addresses but I listened to their presentations, for which I thank them. I am a Sinn Féin Deputy in north Kildare. My comrade in south Kildare wanted to join the meeting as well but, unfortunately, she had another meeting to attend. We have a refuge in Kildare town, Teach Tearmainn, that has done excellent work and we are extremely lucky to have that service for our women and children, but we need vastly more. We need more places, more services, more refuges and more accommodation. Particularly with the pressures we all faced in the lockdown, and sufferers of domestic violence with abusive partners more than most, psychologically, it is critical that our women in north Kildare know they have a place to go to and that the service providers have the comfort of knowing they can respond to women in crisis. I know that Teach Tearmainn has been working with the LEADER partnership in Kildare on a feasibility study for the additional stepdown beds it is looking for. Is this a big problem the witnesses come across, that there is nowhere to go and that people are told when they have spent a certain length of time in a refuge that they are being sent into homeless services?

We also have a severe lack of refuges in the midlands. Only last year I dealt with a woman who did not want to stay in Kildare. She wanted to leave, so I put her in touch with somebody I know in Louth because she did not want to stay too close to where she was previously.

Is that a problem?


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