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COPE Galway New Domestic Abuse Service Facility Nears Completion

Local charity appeals to Galway people for support to reach final hurdle with new state-of-the-art Domestic Abuse Service and Refuge, Modh Eile House.

In 2018, COPE Galway worked with 457 women and their children who experienced domestic abuse.  Support was given to 169 women with their 233 children who could not immediately be accommodated.  Modh Eile House, the purpose-built home for COPE Galway’s Domestic Abuse Service which is currently being renovated on Forster Street, will offer a new, enhanced facility, which is urgently needed for many women and children in Galway.

COPE Galway is seeking support from the people of Galway to help raise the remaining €1million needed to complete the redevelopment and refurbishment of Modh Eile House. The local organisation is launching its “Buy a Brick for Modh Eile” fundraising appeal on Thursday, 27th June, when the construction team will briefly down tools to allow part of the building to open to the Galway public from 11am to 1.30pm.  Galway Bay FM’s Keith Finnegan will also be broadcasting from the site on the day. All are welcome.

Construction at Modh Eile House commenced in November 2018 and is on target for completion in December 2019, with much of the major refurbishment, construction and roofing works done.  “This project is a reality – one that you can be a part of”, said Jacquie Horan, CEO.

“For most of us in Galway, when we close our front door, we know we are safe. Unfortunately, there are many in our local communities who experience the trauma of domestic abuse in all its forms, and when they look to COPE Galway for protection and support, they and their children deserve a facility that will meet their needs.  We have raised two thirds of the money required to redevelop the site – now we need your help. We’re calling on the people of Galway to come behind us and help bring us across the line to create a safe place for women and children in Galway”.

The construction and fit-out cost of Modh Eile House is €4.3 million. Thanks to a Capital Assistance Scheme grant of €2.4 million and significant donations from a number of very generous benefactors, COPE Galway has made significant progress towards meeting this target.

However, to address the €1 million shortfall, Sharon Fitzpatrick, COPE Galway’s Head of Development explains, “We are asking individuals, companies and organisations all over Galway to make a donation to our “Buy a Brick for Modh Eile” campaign ( ). Donors will be given a name credit on our virtual wall and donations can also be given anonymously.

“The funds raised will not only help us to build a new refuge and service for women and children experiencing domestic abuse but will also help us rebuild the lives of the women and children who use this service. ”

COPE Galway’s current domestic abuse facility at Waterside House, in use since the 1980s, can accommodate just 6 women and 15 children in single room, bedsit-type accommodation. It is unable to meet the needs of all of the women who seek support.  Modh Eile House will increase current capacity to accommodate at least 9 women and 20 children, offering 9 self-contained apartments with bedroom, bathroom, living and kitchen facilities. It will also offer enhanced security and facilities allowing specialised individual and group support work, a fit for purpose childcare unit, suitable indoor and outdoor play areas and office and communal spaces.

All are welcome to a first preview of the facility at 47, Forster Street (former Sisters of Mercy Convent), on Thursday, 27th June from 11am to 1.30pm. To buy a brick and help raise vital funds for the new Domestic Abuse Service and Refuge at Modh Eile House, please visit or phone COPE Galway on 091 778750.

PHOTO – COPE Galway Modh Eile House Renovation Project (Contact COPE Galway for hi res version).

CAPTION: Construction work is on target to finish in December 2019 at Modh Eile House, COPE Galway’s new domestic abuse service and refuge at the former Mercy Convent at 47, Forster Street. COPE Galway is appealing to the Galway public to help raise the final €1 million renovation costs. For more information, visit to learn more about the “Buy a Brick for Modh Eile” campaign or come and have a first preview of the proposed facility on Thursday, 27th June from 11am to 1.30pm. All are welcome.


Contact: Sharon Fitzpatrick, COPE Galway.   Tel: 091 778 750

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Background information for Editor:

In 2018 COPE Galway Domestic Abuse Service supported 457 individual women plus their children. We provided 771 outreach appointments for 208 individual women; accompanied 201 women to court and offered 148 play therapy sessions. We were unable to immediately accommodate 169 women with their 233 children on 227 occasions due to lack of space. For these women we provide emergency short term accommodation and/or work closely with other refuges in neighbouring counties so they can be safe in the immediate term.

COPE Galway Domestic Abuse Service, currently based at Waterside House in Galway, is the only 24-hour accessible refuge in the western region.  It provides refuge accommodation, information, support and court accompaniment to women and their children experiencing domestic abuse. There is an outreach service for women in the city and county who are in abusive relationships and who need support and information on their options.

COPE Galway’s search for a new facility commenced over ten years ago. After five years of trying to source and secure a suitable alternative, the Mercy order offered the charity a gift of the convent building on Forster Street. “ModhEile” is the name chosen by women who have experienced domestic abuse and who believe that this name, which is the Irish for “Another Way”, will give hope to others to find a way to rebuild their lives and create a better future for their families. COPE Galway’s vision is that Modh Eile House will provide a safe space for women and children to rebuild their lives, free from domestic abuse and violence.

COPE Galway is a Galway-based charity providing a range of services that address the needs of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness; women and children who experience domestic violence and abuse and supports for older people living in the community. Their vision is for an “Improved Quality of Life in a Home of your Own” for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and older people.