Domestic violence group makes last-minute u-turn on closure

An agency set up to offer support to victims of domestic violence has reversed a threat to close its doors because of a lack of funding commitments from the Government.

An agency set up to offer support to victims of domestic violence has reversed a threat to close its doors because of a lack of funding commitments from the Government.

The National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency was set up on a pilot basis in 2003 with Government support to co-ordinate an inter-agency approach to tackling violence in the home.

It was set to announce today that it could no longer continue its work due to the failure of the Department of Justice to promise ongoing funding.

However, it reversed the decision at the last minute after receiving a private telephone call from Justice Minister Michael McDowell.

Sources say the minister offered a "three-month protection order" while his department decides on the agency's future.

He also insisted the group's work with victims of domestic violence was valued.

A spokesperson for the agency said the situation had been mismanaged by the Department of Justice, but it would take Mr McDowell at his word, despite the lack of evidence that domestic violence was on the political agenda.

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