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Justice Minister announces €1.7m of funds for organisations supporting victims of crime

Dozens of groups helping victims of domestic violence, sex attacks, families of murder victims and other serious crimes are set to benefit from almost €2m in funding next year.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said a total of 57 groups helping people to cope with the "distressing and very often traumatic" aftermath of such incidents will be given the additional help.

In a statement, Mr Flanagan said victim support groups play a crucial role in providing services to people who have lived through deeply damaging incidents.

Describing the groups' work as "hugely valuable", he said the Government is releasing €1.712m in funds to help pay for the services and ensure they continue to operate.

"The ongoing direct help being provided to victims of crime and to their families and friends by our victim support services makes a hugely valuable and vital contribution in Irish society.

"I warmly applaud all of the staff and volunteers in these services for their dedicated, professional and sensitive work in helping so many of our people during what is invariably a distressing and very often traumatic time in their lives.

"I am very pleased to be able to provide funding of €1.712m in 2019 to fund services to victims of crime through the scheme administered by the Victims of Crime Office in my Department.

"This allocation will be distributed to a large number of non-governmental organisations across the State in providing a wide range of supports to victims of crime.

"The funding being provided in 2019 remains a key feature of our overall efforts in better supporting victims of crime at their time of need," Mr Flanagan said.

The 57 groups set to benefit from the funding include those providing services for victims of domestic violence, sex attacks, families of murder victims, assaults on tourists visiting Ireland and other incidents.

They include:

* 35 domestic violence victim support groups

* five counselling groups

* four groups supporting victims of sexual violence

* two groups helping families whose relative has been murdered

* and two groups helping child victims of crime

The Government funding mirrors a similar level of financial support announced for 2017, the latest full year accounts available, when €1.712m was provided to 58 groups.

According to the Department, the money was subsequently used to fund services for 18,500 victims of crime last year.