RCNI welcomes motion to reinstate government funding and looks forward to meeting Minister Reilly

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) Press Release

2nd July 2015

RCNI welcomes motion to reinstate government funding and looks forward to meeting Minister Reilly

A motion calling on the Government to immediately reinstate funding for Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI), tabled by Independent Councillor Catherine Connolly and passed by the Regional Health Forum West will now be sent to Minister James Reilly for his urgent attention. Councillor Connolly said she very much welcomed the unanimous and overwhelming cross-party support for the motion from elected members on the Regional Health Forum, from Donegal to Tipperary, which was the result, she said, of urgent and repeated representations from the community in relation to the government withdrawal of funding from RCNI.

RCNI would like to thank Councillor Connolly for tabling the motion at the Regional Health Forum West meeting held in Merlin Park last Tuesday, and is grateful for the support of councillors throughout the West of Ireland in its bid to have its core funding reinstated.

Councillor Connolly in her press release said: “The work and the services provided by the Rape Crisis Network are absolutely essential… the organisation has been a strong and independent voice, repeatedly highlighting the prevalence of sexual violence in our community and the inadequate response of various governments in addressing this issue.”

“Indeed”, she said, “it has shown over and over that the majority of survivors of sexual violence i.e. four out of five, do not engage at all with the justice system or with one to one counselling, and that without an organization such as RCNI the voices of the silent majority of victims would never be heard.”

Councillor Connolly also highlighted the importance of RCNI’s independent research, data collection and analysis functions, alluding to the fact that these give RCNI a role that is distinctly different from the services provided by Rape Crisis Centres throughout the country. She also referenced the use of this data as an “essential tool” in informing any government introduction of or changes to legislation and/or policies and practices relating to sexual violence.

“In the circumstances”, said Cllr Connolly, “the withdrawal of core funding by the government from the RCNI beggars belief and highlights in the most acute way the hypocrisy of the Government’s commitment to dealing with sexual violence.”

RCNI has been informed that Minister Reilly has agreed to meet with representatives of the organisation in the near future.

Dr Clíona Saidléar, RCNI Acting Director said, “This support from across parties is significant and recognises that the issue of sexual violence needs our collective leadership and collaboration. We were delighted to hear that Minister Reilly will now meet us, and look forward to a date being set for this meeting as quickly as possible. We plan to use this meeting to bring to his attention matters around the urgent need for his department to engage significantly in a whole of government response to sexual violence in Ireland.”

 

For more information, please contact Clíona on 0872196447.

RCNI core funding from the HSE/Tusla was cut from €292,770 in 2010 to €183,878 in 2014, representing a 37% cut, before being cut fully in 2015 as of the 31st of March. This funding represents approximately 70% of RCNI’s statutory funding, with the remaining 30% designated for specific programmes.

ENDS