Refuge funding shortfall

The failure to provide adequate funding to groups offering care and shelter to women and children has been condemned.

The failure to provide adequate funding to groups offering care and shelter to women and children has been condemned.

The HSE and the Government were accused of not providing sufficient funding to Cuan Saor Refuge in Clonmel and other centres that provide such a valuable service by Independent TD Deputy Mattie McGrath.

Cuan Saor has had its core funding decreased by E110,000 since 2010 despite a huge increase in referrals.

“The crisis in women’s refuge funding is tantamount to inflicting further abuse,” said Deputy McGrath.

Deputy McGrath hit out at the HSE and Government stating that the scale of the funding crisis is putting the welfare of women and children at serious risk.

“This is simply appalling. My office has been in direct contact with Cuan Saor Refuge in Clonmel concerning the devastating impact caused by lack of funding and resources .Cuan Saor’s Core funding has decreased by €110,000 since 2010. I am informed by Geraldine Mullane, the Project Leader in Clonmel that because of the huge increase in referrals to their service Cuan Saor has been unable to accommodate 212 women and 256 children in 2011 and 163 women and 194 children this year. In light of these figures how can the Government’s response, which has been to further slash funding be seen as anything but reprehensible hypocrisy. These refuges do extraordinary work and their staff members regularly go beyond the call of duty in providing care and shelter. Unfortunately thanks to the absurd lack of funding all of that is direct danger of collapse.”

He pointed out that the situation in Clonmel was exacerbated because of an overflow of people seeking shelter at the Waterford Refuge and Clonmel was asked to take on extra referrals.