MORE than 200 women and their children could not be accommodated by Clare’s women’s refuge so far this year, as cuts to the budget and an increase in the number seeking refuge from domestic abuse increases.

Manager of Clare Haven Denise Dunne told The Clare People that since the cut to the statutory budget began in 2009, Clare Haven has managed to retain its essential services to the detriment of educational programmes.

However when the fifth consecutive cut to the budget comes next year, vital services will more than likely be affected, she warned.

As many as 208 women and 303 children fleeing from domestic abuse were unable to find accommodation at the centre this year, as all six units were full to capacity.

Ms Dunne explained that Clare Haven staff gave these families the numbers of other refuges around the country or helped them to locate one, but finding a place was often difficult as most women’s refuges are working to full capacity.

The staff work hard to ensure that no woman is left on the street however, even though they are not able to directly accommodate them.

As many as 73 women and their families, which included 109 children, have stayed in Clare Haven’s Refuge Centre this year.

While the service has helped as many as 186 in total through its support visits, outreach programme and refuge centre.

It pains the staff however to have to turn away more than 200 families from the shelter, as the organisation struggles to keep vital services open for those women it helps.

For more see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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Claire Gallagher is a multi-award winning journalist with more than 15 years experience in media. The Galwegan began her career in radio working in news and current affairs. Having spent a year on the dark side – political PR and Spin – she returned to journalism and has since then worked mainly in print – regional and national – while continuing to work with the broadcast media. She has been with the Clare People since its foundation in 2005. She was awarded “Young Irish Medical Journalist of the Year” in June 2008 while working with the paper. Twitter @galocon Facebook ClaireGallagherClarePeople

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