Search icon


24th Nov 2016

Ruth Coppinger forces Enda Kenny to face the reality of domestic abuse in Ireland

The Taoiseach was responding to questions from T.D. Ruth Coppinger of the AAA-PBP.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says that men who beat women “shame manhood” and promised the Dáil that the Domestic Violence Bill would pass before the end of the year.

“It shames manhood for those who beat women. It’s a crime to beat a woman,” the Taoiseach told today’s gathering, according to The Irish Times.

“Those who profess in their manhood or their machoness that they’re doing good by beating women, do themselves and their families and our nation down,” he added.

He was resonding to comments from Ruth Coppinger of the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit who asked, simply, “what can a woman expect if she tries to escape domestic violence in Enda Kenny’s Ireland?”

Before Kenny claimed that the new bill would allow the State to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Coppinger pressed him on why 6,000 women were turned away from refuges on a yearly basis.

“That’s 16 every day. What happens to those women Taoiseach? Do you know?” she asked.

Coppinger added that the Rotunda Hospital on Parnell Square in Dublin had estimated that one pregnant woman in every eight had experienced domestic violence.

“Imagine Taoiseach if 25 per cent of all violent crime is a man assaulting his own wife or partner. If that was gangland crime we would be hearing this shouted about from the rooftops,” she told him.

She asked if he could, “specifically agree to increase refugee space to the European norm of one per 10,000. Will you agree to provide rent allowance to any woman fleeing domestic violence?

“Will you stop the cuts to the Rape Crisis Centres, Women’s Aid, to other services and properly invest in them. Will you also agree to the legislative changes we need and to drop the (legal) fees for any woman seeking to get a protection order?”

Finally, she questioned “how much of a priority is this for your Government because I have to put it to you based on the evidence it doesn’t rate highly?”