ADAPT House rocks with 40-year achievement

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Maeve O'Brien Kelly, retired admnistrator from ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services with Monica McElvaney, director of services
Maeve O’Brien Kelly, retired admnistrator from ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services with Monica McElvaney, director of services

“I AM woman, hear me roar/ in numbers too big to ignore”:  ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services’ Monica McElvaney invoked the Helen Reddy classic as she signed off on 40th anniversary celebrations for this women’s shelter. “The theme song [to 1975, UN International Year of Women] that is about the individual and collective journey of women, which is the story of ADAPT – about their struggles, pain, abuse but about the power of women as well”.

Founding members Maeve O’Brien-Kelly, Nancy Punch, Ann Kavanagh and former staff such as Miriam Duffy, head of Rape Crisis Mid-West, supported this upbeat occasion for past and present staff and board members and invited service users.

The education/ training/ refuge centre in Rosbrien opened with little more than steely determination in 1974 against some opposition within the community and church.

On Tuesday June 10, 2014, to-the-point speeches were brief between footage of the early decades along the lines of ‘Reeling in the Years’, and the live orchestrated cut of Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’.

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It is clear that core issues driving the mission are as urgent as ever, with ADAPT now looking at a 20 per cent cut from funding agencies whilst struggling to maintain high service levels.

Helen O’Donnell of Limerick City Business Association, board member for 25 years, addressed the overwhelming need today of such organisations. “70 per cent of women in relationships experiencing abuse do not report it”.

She charted the organisation’s rise to prominence, from Mary Robinson writing in The Irish Times 1994; winning an AIB Better Ireland award in 2000; to 2013’s state contribution of €1,176,774, fundraising of €169,057 and now, the box-fresh launch of ADAPT’s charity shop in Sarsfield Street.

From  left, Majella Foley-Friel, chair Alix Tiernan, Nóirín Ní Riain, Aine Doody, head of services Monica McElvany, Helen O’Donnell and retired founder member, Maeve O’Brien Kelly at the 40th year celebrations of ADAPT
From left, Majella Foley-Friel, chair Alix Tiernan, Nóirín Ní Riain, Aine Doody, head of services Monica McElvany, Helen O’Donnell and retired founder member, Maeve O’Brien Kelly at the 40th year celebrations of ADAPT

Current chairperson Alix Tiernan paid attention to strategic work in developing Prevention policies as well as core intervention and crisis work.

There are school programmes such as the pioneering ‘Healthy Relationships’ module and awareness training for professionals. Post-vention policies and services serve women and their children in making the transition to a  better life. “We are vibrant as an organisation, we are able to respond, we find the ways”.

Today, ADAPT has 14 apartments for crisis refuge, runs education and training courses, provides counselling, childcare and therapy, and additional services such as court accompaniment and Outreach clinics.

Helpline 1500  200 504.