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Donegal domestic violence centre calls for increased funding to stave off closure

Lifeline Inishowen protested outside the Dáil today.

Supporters of Lifeline Inishowen protested outside the Dáil today.
Supporters of Lifeline Inishowen protested outside the Dáil today.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

STAFF AND SUPPORTERS of a Donegal centre for victims of domestic violence protested outside the Dáil today, warning that its future is under threat if the necessary funding isn’t provided. 

Supporters of Lifeline Inishowen took to the street outside Leinster House to highlight the need for more funding. Last year the service received €3,200 out of a total budget of €650,000 provided to Donegal for domestic violence support services, the group said today. 

The service provides a range of supports to women who have been victims of domestic violence in Donegal, including counselling and helplines. It is the only Donegal domestic violence support service outside of Letterkenny. 

The group said that they have been trying to meet with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, for many years. 

“More services like Lifeline Inishowen should be welcomed and supported in rural Donegal,” Mary Doherty, the manager of the service, said in a statement today. 

“I do not understand why there cannot be a sufficient national level co-ordination with Lifeline Inishowen, particularly since the outreach was created by the local community itself,” she said. 

This could lead to a more “coherent and consistent” approach, Doherty added. 

Outside Leinster House today, women held signs with slogans “Our blood is on your hands” and called on Zappone to take action to prevent the centre from closing.

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Independent TD Thomas Pringle spoke in support of the service during a visit to the Council of Europe, an international human rights organisation. He warned the service was in danger of “being shut down”. 

“We’re talking about women’s lives being at risk in one of the most isolated parts of the country because the Government chooses not to prioritise women and children’s safety. This is unacceptable for a developed country like Ireland,” he added.

A local GP supporting the campaign, Dr Ken Devlin, said the community depends on Lifeline Inishowen.

“Lifeline Inishowen has been of great benefit to the patients of this practice over the last number of years,” he said in a statement.

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