New Domestic Violence Refuge

  • Enda-Kenny-Cope-Galway-3ss

COPE Galway launched development plans on 10th November 2014 for the new Domestic Violence Refuge with special guest An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who officially opened the campaign. The occasion was marked with a symbolic tree planting ceremony which symbolised new beginnings for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Development project

No 47 Forster Street was very kindly donated to COPE Galway by the Sisters of Mercy and is being redeveloped to accommodate a modern state of the art Domestic Violence Refuge facility to service the needs of Galway City and County and the wider western region.


The Need for a New State of the Art Refuge

Our current facility at Waterside House, has capacity to accommodate 6 women and 15 children at any given time. The building has become completely unfit for purpose, is based on single room bed sit type accommodation for whole families, and cannot facilitate on site cooking or an outdoor play area for children.

In 2015 close to 600 women and children received support from across our range of domestic violence services including our refuge. However, a further 288 individual women and 405 children who sought safe refuge could not be accommodated due to lack of space.  In these instances women were offered referral to refuges elsewhere in the country.

At COPE Galway we believe that there should be a modern state of the art domestic violence refuge for women and children who need a place of safety due to violence in their own home.  Our vision is that 47 Forster Street be redeveloped as this facility so that a safe space is created where lives are rebuilt towards being able to live safely in their own homes, free from violence and abuse within their relationships, and supported by communities to access their rights to safety and security.

The mission statement of COPE Galway’s Domestic Violence Services is to support and empower women and their children experiencing domestic violence and to work towards eliminating the structures in society which give rise to and tolerate such violence.

The New Refuge

The site at 47 Forster Street is ideal for a Domestic Violence refuge and will significantly increase our capacity to respond to need.  Its location facilitates easy access to the range of housing, legal, health and social services which are vital to women during a domestic violence crisis.  The building and the site is also very secure affording women and children both the physical safety and psychological reassurance so necessary when out of home due to violence.

The new Refuge building will have increased capacity and enhanced facilities for accommodating and support including;

  • A refuge comprising of 9 self-contained accommodation units (7 x 1 bedroom and 2 x 2 bedrooms) each with a kitchen/living room, bedroom/s and bathroom and with an overall capacity to accommodate  a minimum of 9 women and approx. 20 children. Sharing of units will facilitate further capacity when needed.
  • A fit for purpose childcare unit with facilities and sufficient space to work with children ages 0 to 18 years
  • One to one consultation rooms, a group meeting/training room and office space for outreach services
  • Office, communal spaces and meeting rooms attached to the refuge to facilitate support work with women and children resident in the refuge. COPE A4 261016-1

Further information is available to download from our brochure here. 

Funding Update

The funding requirement to redevelop this building is €2.5 million.

Funding to date:

Capital Assistance Grant of €1.16m from the Dept of Environment, Community & Local Government.

Lead Gift of €600k (anonymous)

Naming Opportunities: There are a number of naming opportunities for donors including individual units, childcare centre, outdoor play area.

To make a donation contact our Fundraising team on 091 778750 or donate online by clicking here.

Cope Galway v12 from bigOmedia on Vimeo.


Status update re COPE Galways new Domestic Violence Refuge   

  • April 2013 - Building donated to COPE Galway by Sisters of Mercy on a 99 year lease.
  • April - Sept 2013 - Initial plans and an indicative costing prepared by local professionals on a pro bono basis. Projected renovation cost €2.5m
  • May 2014 - Capital Assistance Grant approved €1.162m
  • Aug 2014 - Detailed preparation for planning submission
  • Nov 2014 - Launch of redevelopment project by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
  • Summer/Autunmn 2015 - Plans submitted to Galway City Council for Dept of Environment approval prior to planning submission
  • Dec 2015 – Application submitted for Planning Permission
  • May 2016 - Planning permission granted
  • Autumn 2016 - Procurement & appointment of design team
  • Spring 2017 – Commence construction phase
  • Winter 2017 – Project completed

To find out more contact Jacquie Horan, CEO, COPE Galway on 091 778750 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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