independent

Tuesday 20 November 2018

New Rape Crisis centre launched

Rape Crisis North East Cherrywood Centre unveiled

Heather Humphreys TD,Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation officially launches the Rape Crisis North East new premises ‘Cherrywood Counselling Centre’, Carrick Road, Dundalk, watched by, Grace McArdle, Manager and Frank McDonnell, Chairperson, of Rape Crisis North East, Fergus O’Dowd TD and guest speaker, Lavinia Kerwick
Heather Humphreys TD,Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation officially launches the Rape Crisis North East new premises ‘Cherrywood Counselling Centre’, Carrick Road, Dundalk, watched by, Grace McArdle, Manager and Frank McDonnell, Chairperson, of Rape Crisis North East, Fergus O’Dowd TD and guest speaker, Lavinia Kerwick

Olivia Ryan

The new Rape Crisis North East Cherrywood Counselling Centre was official launched yesterday (Monday)

Minister Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation of Rape Crisis North East cut the ribbon at the new premises based Great Northern Distillery Offices, Carrickmacross Road.

Minister Humphreys said 'Today is a very proud day for Rape Crisis North East. Today, as you move into your fantastic new building, you take stock of your magnificent work for over 20 years in this region. I hope you will be lucky, happy and successful here and that you will go on making the change - and being the change - in the lives of women, men and young people, who have experienced sexual violence in Monaghan, Cavan, Meath and Louth.

Your hard work and commitment are second-to-none, not alone in the staff and board, but in the volunteers, who have always been the beating heart of Rape Crisis North East. Since 1996, you have provided a strong, compassionate environment in which you have helped countless people, keeping them safe while they came to terms with their shattering experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you do for this region. Your dedication serves as an example for the rest of the country to follow. I wish you every success and good fortune here in these new premises'.

Frank McDonnell, Chairperson of Rape Crisis North East explained the background to the new centre.

'We are fortunate to have been given this opportunity to lease the 'Great Northern Distillery' offices from one of Ireland's most prolific entrepreneur John Teeling, the owner of the distillery factory and many other successful businesses'. Our new location will help us continue to grow and develop and to meet the needs of clients attending our counselling centre; allowing us to provide an exceptional and superior service as we go forward.'

Grace McArdle, Manager of Rape Crisis North East added: 'We chose the name Cherrywood Counselling Centre because in our immediate vicinity, on the Carrickmacross Road, we are blessed with exquisite cherry trees - and because Cherry Blossoms symbolise spring, a time of renewal and optimism. We want the people attending 'Cherrywood Counselling Centre' to regard this as a new beginning, a safe haven that is bursting with hope.'

Rape Crisis North East and the Cherrywood Counselling Centre, Governed by a board of directors, Chaired by Frank McDonnell and Managed by Grace McArdle and her team, held the event to highlight not only the new location of their services but also the urgent need to put in place additional Rape Crisis Counselling Services along the border of Cavan and Navan and to expand their counselling services in Dundalk and Castleblayney. Grace highlighted 'We have clients from parts of Meath having to take three buses to get to our Rape Crisis Services and three buses to return home to receive one hour of counselling support on a weekly basis. This is simply just not good enough. Rape Crisis North East should be accessible to everyone in Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan'.

Grace continued to explain, 'The people who attend psychotherapy sessions here in Rape Crisis North East can sometimes be overwhelmed with thoughts about the incident and its related ebbs and flows of emotions. Here, they learn a variety of self-care strategies and tactics to aid them throughout their daily lives. Here they are assured a safe space to talk in confidence. Here they are assured practical and emotional support. Here they have the freedom to express themselves and to be themselves. And here they get a sense of life's possibilities beyond their personal experiences'.

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