West Cork is to get its first-ever domestic violence safe house for women and children after an anonymous donation of €400,000.
The huge sum was provided to the West Cork Women Against Violence Project by private donation through the Community Foundation for Ireland, with project coordinator Marie Mulholland stating the purchase of the house was a milestone, "perhaps the most important ever".
Funding remaining from the €400,000 donation will be used to acquire further supports, including the possibility of a second smaller property.
Ms Mulholland said: “There is no better way to mark International Women’s Day than to announce that, thanks to a private donor, our long-held vision and goal of a Safe House in West Cork has become a reality.
"The lack of safe emergency accommodation for victims of domestic violence is of national concern but is slowly beginning to get the attention it deserves.
"However, the situation for rural women and children in need of safety is exacerbated by the challenges of rural life in West Cork; isolation, long distances to the city and the limited capacity of the refuge there, lack of public transport and the dangers presented when women flee their violent partners."
Chief executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, Denise Charlton, said the anonymous donor was "passionate about providing accessible local support to victims of abuse".