'It has not been signed off internally,' Tusla won't give Council women's refuge report

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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Carlow Carlow Carlow

The chief executive of Carlow County Council, Kathleen Holohan, has been told that a report on the need for a women's refuge in Carlow "has not been signed off internally" in Tusla - the State's child and family agency. 

Ms Holohan said as a result, Tusla said to her that they are "not in a position to provide it to us, that's what I was told". 

In January, at a full meeting of the Council, Ms Holohan said that Tusla's interpretation of the report on demand for women's refuges in the South East is that there is no need for a refuge in Carlow. 

"Their interpretation of the research is that there isn't a necessity in Carlow for a refuge but what's required are safe houses, which is different to a refuge," she told members. 

Councillors have been calling for the report that Tusla is basing its decision on to be made public but so far the State agency has not furnished the report to members. 

At this month's meeting, Cllr Ken Murnane asked if Tusla had said when they would sign off on the report but Ms Holohan said they did not. 

Cllr Brian O'Donoghue said this was a "very serious issue" and he issued a public letter several months ago calling on all stakeholders to take part in a public meeting and Tusla said they would help facilitate and attend that meeting.

He promised to follow-up on the issue to determine the next step in setting up the meeting. 

A recent report called "Homelessness in Carlow 2018" found that Carlow women and children fleeing violent homes are accommodated in refuges in Kildare and Dublin, and that "some end up on the streets of Dublin".