Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Donegal Rape Crisis Centre should not have to rely on donations for its important work

Pringle: Donegal Rape Crisis Centre should not have to rely on donations for its important work

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said Government must ensure adequate funding for Donegal Rape Crisis Centre.

Deputy Pringle said: “Fundraising is a constant concern for Donegal Rape Crisis Centre. This should not be the case. The centre provides crucial free and confidential services to people across Donegal and in surrounding areas, and the Government must recognise and support the vital work they do.”

Deputy Pringle visited the centre today (Friday), to meet with staff. The centre, a member of the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland, provides one-to-one counselling, parental/guardian support group, court accompaniment, Garda accompaniment and accompaniment to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit. The centre also provides crisis call support or crisis drop-in, as well as emotional and practical supports to survivors and all affected by sexual violence.

Deputy Pringle said: “I want to thank the centre for making time to meet with me today. I was glad for the opportunity to learn more about the work they do and the challenges they face.”

The deputy said: “The centre is also quick to respond to community needs. After assessing community needs, they found a great need for prevention work, and have developed their own education programme for Donegal youth.”

Starting this month the centre will facilitate workshops for transition year students in Donegal, and while funding is limited, the demand has been huge, Deputy Pringle said. The centre hopes to work with at least 200 young people by Christmas and they have more than 250 students on their schedule for the new year. They have also facilitated various workshops and disclosure, consent and trauma training with other groups.

Deputy Pringle said: “They need funding for next year to deliver the education programme. Demand for services is growing and as we come out of the lockdown it will increase again.

“The centre receives funds from the HSE, but these do not cover all their costs. The rest comes from fundraising. Though Donegal people have always been generous in their support, these important services must not be dependent on donations,” he said.

“The Government must step in and ensure the Donegal Rape Crisis Centre receives the funding it needs to run its full range of services and programmes,” Deputy Pringle said.