Portlaoise hospital ready to 'Go Purple' for Laois Domestic Abuse

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise hospital ready to 'Go Purple' for Laois Domestic Abuse

Go Purple Day against domestic abuse in Laois and Offaly is on April 23

Laois is being asked to Go Purple this Friday and support Laois Domestic Abuse Services.

Laois Gardaí have launched the day as part of a nationwide campaign to support victims facing abuse at home.

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise is going purple while a Portlaoise bakery is offering a sweet temptation.

The Emergency Department at Portlaoise hospital will have purple balloons, some collection buckets and have set up a Revolut account for those who don't have cash on them to donate.

The Gingerbread Patisserie in Portlaoise have a sweet reward in a competition on social media for anyone who donate to the gofundme campaign for Laois Domestic Abuse Service.

"I have decided to ask you all to donate whatever you can little or big it all counts. Screenshot proof of your donation and share it with me in the comments on this post. In turn all of you who comment proof of your donation will be put into a draw to win a mixed box of cream buns off me this Saturday. The winner will be announced on Friday so you have until then to donate and share it with me. Thanks you in advance to everyone who is willing to help it is so so important we look after these woman!," the bakery says.

I have decided to run a competition in the hope it can help a very worthy cause! This Friday Laois domestic abuse...

Posted by Gingerbread patisserie on  Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Garda Sergeant Justine Reilly is co-ordinating Garda Go Purple day in Laois.

"This first year as it is during Covid, we are mindful of gatherings, so it is about raising awareness. We will have purple balloons at stations and officers distributing posters around towns. If people can even donate the price of a cup of tea or coffee, it will all go to a great cause. Funding is really important because the service has seen a massive increase in need. The more is raised, the more they can do," she said.

"The day is to get people talking, and showing support for victims and survivors. It is important to support and listen and help as best we can," Sgt Reilly said.

"Marna Carroll is manager of the Laois service which is at the frontline supporting women and children in desperate situations, especially since Covid restrictions forced long stays at home for families in crisis.

"Women and children living through lockdowns with their abusers is nightmarish - there is no respite, the window of opportunity for escape is tiny, and sometimes non existent. Domestic violence by its nature is a very lonely and isolating experience, just imagine how isolated and terrified victims have felt over the past year. Children unable to go to school, or to their cousins house/Granny's house for a few hours to get away from their abuser, women unable to access one to one supports, friends. 

"Our experience is that the abuse has intensified also, the controls have tightened, the regularity of physical forms of abuse have increased," Ms Carroll said. 

She thanks the Gardaí for organising the awareness day. 

"We are grateful to An Garda Siochana for initiating Go Purple Day. The Gardai are our natural partners working against domestic abuse. We feel fortunate to work with a committed and informed as well as pro-active team in in Laois.

"The point of Go Purple Day is to create awareness of domestic abuse in our local community, and to raise funds to assist women and children. But also, to allow those who wish to support our work an opportunity to do so," the service manager said. 

"Every cent you donate makes a difference, it truly does. We work with women and children who go hungry because their abuser withholds money, we know women who stand outside court all day (often with small children) who can't afford a sandwich or a cup of tea.

"Domestic abuse is happening in our community, in homes across the county, every day. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate and chances are that you know someone experiencing domestic abuse right now, but certainly you have known a woman at some point in your life that has lived with domestic abuse. 1 in 4 women in Laois experience domestic abuse, that's a huge number," Marna said.

"People have told us they are going to wear purple on the day, bake purple, and even dye their hair purple! We completely understand that many won't have the means to offer financial support, but simply wearing purple on Friday in solidarity with the women and children experiencing domestic abuse is a powerful statement," she said.

Supporters can post photos on their social media and tag @Garda Siochana Laois Offaly and  Laois Domestic Abuse Service