There are further concerns for the future of Inishowen women and children affected by domestic violence following confirmation Lifeline Inishowen will cease for good in March and there has been increased demand for Donegal Domestic Violence Service.
The committee of Lifeline Inishowen met last week and decided they cannot continue the service past the end of March, due to lack of funding. The service will ‘wind down’ from January 31st.
Yesterday, Donegal Domestic Violence Service called for an increase in funding from Tusla, telling how there has been an increase in demand for their refuge accommodation, which was full over Christmas. They said women and children had to be referred to refuges in other parts of the country.
Tusla have refused to fund the Carndonagh-based Lifeline service, stating Inishowen receives cover from Donegal Domestic Violence Service,
Mary Doherty, manager Lifeline Inishowen, said they now had ‘no hope’ they will receive funding from Tusla before their deadline, adding they were ‘heartbroken’ at having to make the closure decision.
She said the people of Inishowen had given them fantastic support over the years and added the closure of Lifeline is another example of how the peninsula has consistently been failed by the Government.
She said: “To us, its one of the saddest days for families in Inishowen. Lifeline supported over 80 families over the past five years. What are we supposed to do now? Do the Government and funders not care about Inishowen? Why are they doing this? Inishowen families are being abandoned. This is not the fault of any other service or of TDs or councillors. This is the fault of the Government. They aren’t providing much-needed money and they are failing the people of Inishowen.”
Mary said Donegal Domestic Violence Service were doing a “great job” but also needed more funding. She pointed out that while they are now seeing increasing demand, the families that Lifeline Inishowen work with will also now need the services of DDVS when Lifeline ends.
She said: “Our closure is going to impact the whole county. If we close, Inishowen families can’t come to us. They’ll have to be referred to a service which is already seeing huge demand.”
Yesterday, Donegal North East TD Padraig MacLochlainn contacted Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly and Minister Joe McHugh urging them “at the eleventh hour” to make one last effort to ensure Lifeline Inishowen is financially supported. He asked how DDVS could take on the “previous workload” of Lifeline.