independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Minister called on to intervene

Social Reform Minister Brendan Howlin TD

Wexford councillors have called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin (pictured) to ensure that the Women's Refuge is kept open.

Fianna Fail councillor Fergie Kehoe said the refuge is a vital service in the Minister's home town.

Cllr. Kehoe said there is concern for the safety of staff as the refuge's outreach service is being expanded.

'Staff will be more vulnerable going out to women in homes where there is violence,' he said.

Cllr. Anthony Kelly of Sinn Fein has called for an urgent meeting of Wexford Borough Council which provides an annual emergency housing grant to the refuge.

'This is of huge importance to women and children,' he said. 'It's going to have tragic human consequences.' Cllr. Kelly said Minister Howlin must do everything he can to save the service.

Meanwhile, Cllr. David Hynes said continuous Government cuts in funding to community services in Wexford have made the prospect of closure inevitable.

The Independent councillor said it was only a matter of time before a vital project such as the refuge would be forced to close.

Cllr. Hynes joined the call for an emergency meeting of the Borough Council to discuss the issue.

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