A petition has been handed into the Minister for Children today calling for vital funding to save the domestic abuse service, Lifeline Inishowen.

A group of representatives travelled to Dublin today to plea for urgent funding for Lifeline. The service, which helps around 54 domestic violence and abuse victims a year, is under threat of closure.

A petition of 1,000 signatures was delivered to the Dáil for the attention of Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone.

Local women staged a demonstration outside the government buildings with posters highlighting the need for a funded service for Inishowen for local women and their children.

Lifeline Inishowen demonstration at Dáil Éireann. Photo: Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Lifeline Inishowen has received no HSE funding since 2010.  Management says that a small fund is provided by Tusla each year for their Child Counselling service, but they have to rely on fundraisers and their charity shop to sustain the rest.

Representatives are demanding that funding for Lifeline Inishowen’s running costs is reinstated, with a stark warning that “Closure of Lifeline will literally put lives at risk.”

Senator Padraig MacLochlainn, Deputy Pearse Doherty, Deputy Charlie McConalogue, Independent Senator Lynn Ruane and Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett turned out to support the women at the Oireachtas today.

Photo via Inishowen Together @inish_together

Commenting afterwards, Senator MacLochlainn said: “10 years ago, there was State funding through the HSE for a dedicated domestic violence service for the Inishowen peninsula. It was withdrawn in 2010 and never reinstated.

“Lifeline Inishowen have maintained this vital service since then, supported by local fundraising but they can’t sustain and grow this service on their own anymore. Local women have testified that this is a life saving service!”