Over 2,600 calls received by refuge helpline in 2018

By Mary Dennehy

SAOIRSE Women’s Refuge, which received more than 2,600 calls to its helpline in 2018, is raising awareness of supports locally for families fleeing domestic violence.

Based in Tallaght, the Saoirse Women’s Refuge is running a number of local events to coincide with the Women’s Aid national campaign, 16 Days of Action.

Saoirse compressor

Orla Kelly and Jessica Gamble

This campaign calls for action at an ‘international, national and local level to make women and children safe from abuse’.

Locally Saoirse, which is preparing to open its second refuge in South Dublin County, is focused on raising awareness and providing information.

Alongside raising awareness among members of the community, Saoirse also hopes to raise awareness among elected representatives, policy setters and funders of the demand locally for refuge services and supports.

Saoirse also hopes to reach out to local businesses, which may be in a position to support the service.

According to figures provided to The Echo by Saoirse, the Tallaght refuge provided emergency accommodation to 72 women and 133 children last year.

They also placed 12 women and 16 children in safe houses, supported 186 families through its outreach services and received 2,627 calls to its helpline.

Due to capacity constraints, Saoirse could not accommodate 287 families.

Speaking with The Echo, Orla Kelly, assistant manager at Saoirse said: “We want to raise awareness of the demand for domestic violence services locally and also provide people with information on what services are available.

“We want to raise awareness that there is help.”

The team at Saoirse is currently preparing to open its second refuge in South Dublin County next month, a five-bed emergency refuge that can cater for five adults and 15 children.

However, while this is a very positive move, thanks to funding from South Dublin County Council and TUSLA, Ms Kelly believes more needs to be done.

“It’s very positive that we received funding to open a second refuge – it will make a difference to a lot of families,” Ms Kelly said.

“However, there is still more to be done . . . there is a huge need locally, just look at last year’s figures.”

Saoirse’s awareness campaign will start on Monday, November 25, with an information stand beside the IMC cinema in The Square.

Staff will be on hand to provide information and will also be selling Saoirse’s annual Christmas cards in aid of the refuge.

Members of the community are also invited to support Saoirse in refurbishing the new refuge by taking part in their upcoming 1km Family Run on Sunday, December 1.

The event is being supported and staged by Tallaght Athletics Club, with families invited to take to the Greenhills Road track for a good cause.

The Jingle All the Way 1K Family Fun Run in aid of Saoirse Women’s Refuge will take place from 2pm until 4pm at Tallaght Athletics Club on Sunday, December 1.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

On Thursday, December 5, Saoirse is holding an event with Women Together Tallaght Network (WTTN) in Tallaght Stadium from 7pm to 9pm.

The night will include presentations, information on the new refuge in South Dublin County, and a candlelit vigil and music.

Tea, coffee and finger food will be provided on the night, and all are welcome.

Saoirse has invited the community to attend all three events.

For further details on the Fun Run call Orla on

085 8016721 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To RSVP for the event in Tallaght stadium call 4627741, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the event page on Facebook @NCCWN – Women Together Tallaght.

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