Limerick TD calls for county-wide support for victims of domestic violence

Independent Irish MP Richard O’Donoghue addresses the Dáil.

Services and support for victims of domestic violence and their children are needed in rural areas.

At least that is the view of Independent Ireland MP Richard O’Donoghue, who spoke in the Dáil during a debate on sexual and gender-based violence.

According to MP O’Donoghue, rural areas should have their own centres for victims of domestic violence so that people affected by violence do not have to travel to larger cities to obtain support.

“Over the festive period I visited ADAPT House in Limerick. My office staff and I go around the festive period trying to help people in different areas – not just women who have experienced domestic violence but also their children – so they can have a bit of normality over the festive period. We try to do that every year,” he told Dáil members.

“At ADAPT House I saw that the area that was used for interviews had been converted into a family room because there was no space. The staff moved equipment out of storage and put the families in there because the house was under enormous pressure to help them. The staff went above and beyond in this regard and I have the utmost respect for what they do. They are amazing.”

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Domestic violence, Mr O’Donoghue continued, usually affects women, but it also affects children who are removed from their family homes and understand why that is happening.

“This is turning their world upside down. The children at ADAPT House still have to be taken to and from school. Everything has to be monitored to protect them and their mothers,” he said.

“There are very few ADAPT centres outside urban areas. Rural areas should have them too so that people don’t have to leave their areas for cities. ADAPT centres should be in the wider counties. Will the Minister consider setting up ADAPT centres in inter-urban areas where there is a tendency – I hate to say it like this – to abuse, so that we can keep people in their own areas?”