Social Democrats Cllr Clare Claffey.

‘Urgent need’ for domestic violence refuge in Offaly

Offaly County Council has been asked to commit to the development of refuge services for victims of domestic and gender-based violence as a matter or ugency.

The call was made at the November meeting by Green Party Cllr, Mark Hackett, who said he had obtained figures from the Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service (ODVSS) which demonstrates “the urgent need” for refuge services in the county.

“At the moment people who are at risk from domestic or gender-based violence have to travel to another county to seek refuge, and many of them are reluctant to do so for a number of reasons and that makes a bad situation even worse,” he said. Cllr Hackett brought a motion before the council asking the local authority to “lead the way on this issue” which was seconded by Social Democrats Cllr Clare Claffey, who commended the ongoing work by ODVSS on securing refuge accommodation.

Director of Services, Sharon Kennnedy, said the first priority is the three safe houses.