By Suzanne Pender
DEPUTY Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has this week slammed suggestions that “only lip service” is being paid by the government and there is no real urgency in providing a women’s refuge for Carlow.
Responding to comments made in last week’s Nationalist by the Women’s Refuge Campaign, which is supported by People Before Profit’s cllr Adrienne Wallace, deputy Murnane O’Connor insisted that she stands by her previous comments and confirms again “that I have received a commitment that funding is in place for this very vital service in Carlow, and that progress is being made”.
“As an elected representative and TD within the current government, I do not believe that this urgent service need for the women and children of Carlow should become a political battle or a first step on a future election campaign,” said deputy Murnane O’Connor. “This is not appropriate and I consider this approach to be both distasteful and disrespectful to these women and children for whom I, along with many others in Carlow and nationally, have worked tirelessly and will continue to work on securing a women’s refuge in Carlow.
“I would urge all to work together in relation to the women’s refuge, as political point scoring only divides, and my only aim is to continue to work with my colleagues in government and advocate until the service is delivered,” said deputy Murnane O’Connor.
The Fianna Fáil deputy stated that she has spent “several hours and days” making representations for the women of Carlow and attending meetings regarding this service and does not consider her input or work – “nor that of those working together with me on this project – to be solely lip service”.
Carlow Women’s Aid also confirmed to The Nationalist this week its firm belief that progress is being made and that an inter-agency approach is bearing dividends.
The Carlow deputy also took exception to comments made by cllr Wallace at a recent meeting of Carlow County Council that “nothing has materialised to date” in relation to the provision of a refuge.
“This allegation of ‘non-materialisation’ is neither factually truthful nor correct, and is, in fact, totally misleading. It has also been stated that there is a long waiting list in Kilkenny for refuge accommodation; however, I have been informed that this is not the situation in Carlow and that there is no current waiting list or urgent need for these houses at present.”