A long term solution to the funding crisis at Dundalk Women’s Aid has been found, with an announcement that the organisation will receive an additional €50,000 in funding per annum.
On Thursday evening the organisation signed a crucial new Service Level Agreement that will see them get the minimum amount of funding they need to continue to provide their service to the most vulnerable women in Dundalk.
In an April meeting of Dundalk Town Council it had been agreed that further funding would be found for the Refuge via a separate funding scheme.
However, the Women’s Refuge wanted a long term solution to the problem.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, Lisa Marmion of Dundalk Women’s Aid said: “This was the darkest period in the history of this organisation.
“We are very hopeful looking forward and we feel like we are now at the beginning of something, and not the end.”
The new funding could also pave the way for the charity to push ahead with a their plan to move the refuge to the old De La Salle building.
This would give the charity more space and lower fuel costs due to the increased energy efficiency.
“We don’t know if that option is still available to us. It’s certainly something that we wanted to push on ahead with, but unfortunately we had to tell the owners that we were going to close this summer.
“We are going to have to explore if it is still available to us, but we fear it may have been lost.”
Ms Marmion says that the support that the organisation received from the public when their closure was announced has been staggering.
“When we announced we were being forced to close we were overwhelmed by the support we received.”
Speaking this week Senator Mary Moran said: “‘I am delighted that the future of Women’s Aid Dundalk is now secure pending the signing of the new SLA with Louth County Council.
“Over the course of the last year I have worked with the staff of Women’s Aid Dundalk to deal with these ongoing funding issues.
“This news is a testament to the hard work of the staff in the service and is well deserved.
‘The future of Women’s Aid Dundalk is now secure.
“I was delighted to be able to support this service over the last year and I will remain supportive into the future. Women’s Aid Dundalk provide a service which is very hard to replicate and I will fight to ensure it remains in our community.
“I am delighted that the incredible value of this service to the community has been recognised.”