Funding of more than €1 million has been secured for a new women’s refuge in Forster Street on the site of a former Magdalene Laundry.
Last year the Sisters of Mercy donated one of their properties to COPE Galway, with a view to developing a women’s refuge. The building needs extensive renovation in order to develop it into a state of the art facility, which will also offer extensive facilities for children.
COPE applied for funding through the Capital Assistance Scheme and has now received funding of more than €1.1 million, following a visit to the site by the Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan. The Galway City Council has also supported the project.
The funding has been welcomed by Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan, who has worked with COPE on this project and raised the issue in the Dáil.
“Developing the refuge on this site is a recognition of the tragic history of the Magdalene Laundries, using this premises instead for the liberation of women fleeing terrible domestic violence,” he said.
Dep Nolan pointed out that women seeking shelter from violent homes need “significant supports, including housing, legal, social welfare, and health services”, which he said, “will be easily accessible from these new premises”.
Dep Nolan added: “The work COPE Galway does in the area of domestic violence is vital and every support must be given to them.”