Committee backs Foyle Women’s Aid hub for domestic violence victims but suggests the Department of Justice may be in the best position to pay

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Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee expressed unanimous support with Foyle Women’s Aid in their bid to develop a flagship justice centre for victims of domestic violence in Pump Street but suggested financial backing might fall outside the remit of the local authority.

Sinn Féin Councillor Karina Carlin, applauded what she described as “a very ambitious project”, before assuring Foyle Women’s Aid Director Marie Brown she was “pushing at an open door” insofar as her request for political support was concerned. However, she said the council would have to see “something more solid and priced out” in terms of a business plan before committing any financial backing.

“Financially we’d need to see a lot more in pounds and pence,” said Colr. Carlin, adding that the provision at the proposed Pump Street centre was not obviously a local government responsibility.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly thanked Mrs. Brown for her presentation and referred to the complexity of current pathways for victims.

“Crucially, this will make it easier for victims to get the help they need.”

He said it was another good example of Derry leading the way but suggested much of the centre’s work would fall under the aegis of the Department of Justice.

“That’s why we really need an Assembly up and running so the Department of Justice can puts its hand in its pocket,” said Colr. Reilly.

However, the committee proposed officers meet with Foyle Women’s Aid to discuss what potential funding options and opportunities, if any, may be available.