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Campaign highlights domestic violence

Conor Whelan of Doonbeg and Cathal Dillon of Crusheen get wrapped up by Martha Barrett, HR manager at Clare Haven, and Lynda Creavan, fundraising coordinator, at the launch of Clare Haven’s White Ribbon campaign. Photograph by Declan MonaghanTwo Clare county champions are supporting an ongoing national campaign encouraging  men to speak out about violence against women.
Ireland’s first White Ribbon Campaign calls on all men to wear a white ribbon to say no to violence against women.  It is the first major activity of a new alliance called The Other Half.
Crusheen captain Cathal Dillon and Doonbeg defender Conor Whelan are endorsing the campaign on behalf of Clare Haven Services. Mr Dillon, who has worked as a community youth worker in Southill, Limerick for the past year, told The Clare Champion that domestic violence against women took place in every local community.
Having worked for the Clare Youth Service for the past five years, he stressed it was important for women who were victims of domestic abuse to speak out and seek the necessary support from organisations like Clare Haven.
He said there was nothing for victims to be ashamed of and was happy to play a role in increasing public awareness about this worthwhile campaign.
Conor Whelan pointed out that people in local communities weren’t always aware what was going on behind closed doors for women involved in an abusive relationship.
He stressed women had to be reassured that adequate supports would be made available to them once they came forward in confidence to the relevant agencies.
He acknowledged that some men found it difficult to discuss their feelings and emotions when they faced serious difficulties yet this could never be used as an excuse to take out their frustrations on their female partner.
“If this campaign raises public awareness and encourages women to come forward and seek support, it is job well done,” he said.
This campaign is also supported by a number of Clare County Councillors including Mayor of Clare, Christy Curtin, who pledged that a small financial contribution would be made to Clare Haven in recognition of the sterling service it had provided for women suffering from various types of abuse throughout the county.
Councillor Curtin stressed that organisations like Clare Haven need to be protected from Government cutbacks to ensure equity for vulnerable people.
Councillor Gabriel Keating proposed representatives from Clare Haven should attend Electoral Area meetings to outline what services were provided for women in particular areas.
Councillor Johnny Flynn recalled when he was working as a porter and an attendant in Ennis hospital during the 1970s and early 1980s he was amazed to see the amount of people presenting with injuries as a result of domestic violence.
He expressed concern about the rise in this type of abuse in Clare.
“I can understand hurt people can end up hurting others but there is no excuse for any type of abuse against women. I would encourage men who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the recession to seek support before inflicting injuries on their loved ones,” he said.

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