Friday, August 16, 2013

Ministers must put weight behind campaign to reopen refuge - Kelly

Speaking at a public meeting called in opposition to the temporary closure of the Wexford Women's Refuge, Cllr Anthony Kelly has reiterated his call upon the county's two sitting Ministers to put their weight behind the campaign to overturn the controversial HSE decision.  Cllr Kelly appealed to Ministers Brendan Howlin and Paul Kehoe to put human decency before partisan politics and use their considerable influence in cabinet to get the refuge reopened immediately.

Cllr Kelly said;

"The HSEs decision to close the Wexford Women's Refuge is down to them going over budget by €67,000 so far this year.  Government Ministers earn two and a half times this in basic salary each year.  The refuge served a catchment area of 150,000 people and has provided a crucial haven for hundreds of women and children who have escaped violent relationships.  How can the HSE, government or anyone else put a price on such a vitally important service when clearly there are other alternatives?"

"One hundred and forty seven women and children have already been turned away from the refuge this year because they simply haven't had the funding available to help everyone despite the valiant efforts of the wonderful staff there.  How many more running from domestic violence will find no sanctuary over the next thirteen weeks because of an insane HSE cost saving measure?"

"I would appeal to Ministers Kehoe and Howlin to ignore partisan politics in the interest of human decency and common sense and join the campaign to get the women's refuge reopened immediately.  There can be no justification for closing this service for even one day, yet alone thirteen long weeks."

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