The search is on for Mayo’s most inspirational woman

A centre which provides supports to sex abuse and sex assault victims in Mayo is searching for the county’s most inspirational woman as part of a fundraising effort to repair storm damage to its building.

The Mayo Rape Crisis Centre suffered a serious setback last year when the New Year storms exposed a structural problem with its building.

“Sadly it is currently a health hazard and has resulted in the service, which is already decimated by cuts to its core funding, being left with the stressful task of trying to pay for repairs,” said Loretta McDonagh, acting director at the centre.

With this in mind, the MRCC has launched its search for Mayo’s most inspirational woman, which will culminate in a gala event in the TF Royal Hotel on January 6 to announce the winner.

January 6 is also known as Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Little Christmas, and was traditionally a day set aside for the women who had worked so hard to prepare the home and family for the festive season to come together and celebrate their own ‘little Christmas’.

“Anyone can nominate a woman over 18 years of age who has inspired them in any way,” said Ms McDonagh.

Nominations are open now and close on December 20.

“The final decision will be made by a judging panel and it will be based on nominations in writing (of 200 words or less ) to the centre or via private message on the Facebook page,” added Ms McDonagh.

Visit the MRCC fundraising page on Facebook for more information and to submit a nomination.

Ms McDonagh is also inviting anyone celebrating Nollaig na mBan this year to consider having a collection or hosting an event in aid of the MRCC’s repair works.

Ms McDonagh said the MRCC is a “truly essential space” for the people it supports. There were 62 new consultations at the MRCC in 2013 alone.

Last year the centre also extended its services to include men who have experienced sexual violence, and it now operates outreach clinics in Ballina, Belmullet, and Ballyhaunis.

Tickets for the inaugural Mayo Inspirational Woman gala event on January 6 cost €40 and are available now from the Royal Theatre, Castlebar.

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