‘Urgent intervention’ needed to save counselling service

by Louise Doyle

CALLS are to be made today for an urgent intervention to ensure funding is made available for a vital counselling service for children in Letterkenny.

Concerns emerged earlier this month when the service provider, Raphoe Diocesan Pastoral Services revealed that with “profound sadness and regret” it would be forced to close its doors in March due to a lack of funding from the State.


The not-for-profit organisation provides counselling services in seven outreach centres across the county including, Letterkenny, Dunfanaghy, Stranorlar, Creeslough and Buncrana.

The organisation’s board of directors have said the decision was made with “profound sadness and regret” and was due to a lack of public funding for a full-time director of counselling.

The centre has provided support to thousands in Donegal since it began delivering counselling services in 2010. It now has 120 people receiving counselling at any one time.

At Donegal County Council’s Plenary meeting today, a number of issues are set to be tabled calling for urgent action to prevent the cessation of the service.

Cllr Gerry McMonagle will urge that Donegal County Council write to Minister Mary Butler and the HSE requesting an urgent intervention to ensure that the funding necessary to maintain the service is provided for by her department annually to ensure the service for young people is maintained and fully funded.

Cllr Patrick McGowan will also bring forward a motion calling for investment from the HSE and Tusla to finance a Director of Counselling and a Cooordinator to enable the Raphoe Diocesan Pastoral Centre continue its work across the county.

Cllr McGowan will stress that with the service currently helping 120 clients across seven outreach centres across the county, and 350 young people on the waiting list, the service must be saved.


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