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Thursday 18 October 2018

Long-standing women's refuge closed for seven months over 'electrical issues'

  • Refuge expected to re-open in 2018
  • Tusla says no residents were at risk due to electrical issues
  • Clients re-directed to other services
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Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A refuge for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence has been closed 'temporarily' due to electrical issues in the building and will not re-open until 2018.

The Tusla-run Rathmines Women's Refuge, which has operated for a number of years in the area, was closed in September.

It will not re-open until at least April 2018 Independent.ie has learned.

Remediation works are required at the centre.

The child and family agency has said "none of the residents were deemed to be at immediate risk".

However, the "the decision was taken to temporarily stop taking admissions and relocate residents for the long-term safety of the women and children who reside there".

"An inspection initiated by Tusla confirmed there were electrical fixtures in the facility which needed to be replaced and repaired, and that the refuge would need to be closed temporarily while that work was carried out. Those works are now underway," a spokeswoman for Tusla said.

"The agency is acutely aware that this temporary relocation may be difficult for residents and is providing the necessary additional supports to minimise the impact on these vulnerable women and children.

"While the temporary closure is unfortunate, our responsibility and priority is to provide the residents who have already experienced trauma and disruption with an appropriate place to eat, sleep and live during this period," she added.

Joan Mullan, National Manager for Domestic, Sexual, and Gender Based Violence, Tusla said: “Tusla’s primary concern, central to all decisions is the safety and welfare of the women and children concerned.

"We are aware that this decision may be upsetting for women and children who access our services. The women and children have been moved to alternative refuges where they can continue their recovery with the supports they need.”

There are currently 10 Tusla staff members employed at the refuge and all are now working in alternative roles or arrangements pending the re-opening of the centre.

In 2014 a HSE audit of the refuge found 'high risk' practices in place at the centre including the storage of client data on unencrypted data and concerns that overtime hours were being used by staff to complete clerical duties.

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