Thursday 28th February 2019: Women's Aid, the national organisation providing support and information to women experiencing domestic violence and dating abuse, this evening welcomed the Minister of Justice’s commitment to establish independent research into family homicides.
Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid said:
“Women’s Aid welcomes the latest development announced by the Minister of Justice Charlie Flanagan, T.D., to establish independent research into family homicides. We hope that this process brings answers and a sense of justice to those affected including the family of Clodagh Hawe and her three boys Liam, Niall and Ryan. The country owes Jacqueline Connolly and Mary Coll a debt for bringing the issue of domestic violence and homicide to the forefront our minds with their courageous interview on RTE on Monday night. We understand that it wasn’t an easy step for Jacqueline and Mary to take but one driven by their determination and resolve to see justice done for Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan. A purpose which we fully support. The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline has seen an upsurge in calls since then from women fearful of the same thing happening to them and reliving past trauma.”
Calling for further information, Ms Martin said:
“We look forward to getting more detail on the terms of reference of the research but would urge the Minister to include consultation with specialist domestic violence services and experts on Femicide and domestic violence and the wider communities affected by domestic homicides"
For over 20 years, Women’s Aid has been raising this issue through our Femicide Watch work and in particular highlighting the need for legislation for the establishment of Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs). Ms Martin concluded:
"In our latest report launched in November 2018 we outlined the best practice around independent and multi-agency DHRs and what we would like to see in Ireland. The inclusion of specialist domestic violence services, family, and informal community networks along with health services, schools, Gardai etc. in the reviews is essential to ensure the fullest picture of what led to the killings and how we can best prevent killings of women and children in their own homes in the future.”
Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 www.womensaid.ie.
For further information please contact Christina Sherlock, Head of Communications on 0879192457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key statistics from the Women’s Aid Femicide Report 2018: