COPE domestic abuse shelter opening early next year

Galway Daily news COPE Galway Modh Eile domestic abuse shelter

The Modh Eile domestic abuse shelter for COPE Galway is nearing completion and is expected to open its doors early next year.

COPE expects the contractors on site to hand over the building before Christmas, and that they will be in a position to start outfitting the domestic abuse shelter in the new year.

To get construction and outfitting work over the line COPE is planning a series of fundraising events that will take place throughout the remainder of this year.

Sharon Fitzpatrick, COPE’s Head of Development said, “With less than three months to go to the completion of the development project, we are appealing to the people of Galway to help us raise the remaining funds needed to open the doors of Modh Eile House early next year”.

The first fundraising event for this vital service will be a Dinner Dance on Saturday, November 16 at the Galmont Hotel.

Co-hosted and organised by the Galway Solicitors’ Bar Association (GSBA) in partnership with COPE Galway, the event promises to be a night of good fun, great food and lively entertainment.

Tickets for the event cost €90 or €850 for a table of 10 and are available from COPE Galway or Eventbrite.

COPE Galway’s Domestic Abuse Service and Refuge is currently located at Waterside House which has been in use since the 80s.

It only has room for 6 women and 15 children in bedsit-type accommodation, far below the level of demand for COPE’s services, and the dignity deserved by women and families in this situation.

To put that in perspective, so far this year COPE has supported 507 women with its domestic abuse services of which 48 women and their 55 children were provided with refuge.

They also supported a further 119 women and their 204 children who they were unable to admit immediately to the refuge.

“We offer a safe place for women and their children who need to flee a dangerous situation”, says Service Manager, Dr. Carol Baumann.

“However, emergency refuge accommodation is just one aspect of the service we are offering. The majority of the women we work with use our outreach services, parenting supports and support groups.

“We also operate a service for children and our teams work with schools, colleges, and professional services to inform and increase awareness around domestic abuse in all its forms.”

“We eagerly await the completion of Modh Eile House, where we can build on our supports and offer a state-of-the-art Domestic Abuse Service and Refuge for the women and children in Galway’s community”.

The site for the new shelter is at the former Magdalene Convent on Forster Street which was donated to COPE by the Sisters of Mercy who used to run the Galway city Magdalene Laundry.

COPE Galway has made significant progress in raising the €4.3 million construction and fit-out costs for Modh Eile House, with a Department of Housing/Galway City Council Capital Assistance Scheme grant, generous philanthropic donations and support from the community through the “Buy a Brick” campaign.

“This project is for the community, by the community,” Sharon Fitzpatrick said.

“We still have some ground to cover to raise the remaining funds to enable us to complete the project and have a number of fundraising events planned between now and the end of the year to support this cost.”

“We are asking the Galway Community, who have been so supportive and to whom we are very grateful, to help us reach that final hurdle to complete the refurbishment of this community resource.”

“Watch this space to see the other events and activities we have occurring between now and the end of the year.”