By BRIAN MOORE
A WEST Cork support group for women, which provides services to victims of domestic violence, has slammed phone company Eir for its plans to remove one of the last remaining phone boxes in Skibbereen, days before Christmas.
‘Public call boxes are important – often vital – for women whose personal phones are being monitored by their abusers,’ said Marie Mulholland of West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV).
‘It is often the only secure means of help in a crisis and I would call on Eir to reconsider this plan to remove what could be, for many, the only means of reaching help,’ she added.
Ms Mulholland went on to say that the Christmas period often sees a sharp rise in the numbers of people seeking help and support as domestic violence incidents increase at this time of year.
The phone box earmarked for removal is located outside the Corner Bar in Skibbereen. Eir, the company responsible for the maintenance and repair of the country’s remaining 170 single public telephone boxes, have posted a notice stating that the kiosk on Ilen Street will be removed on December 15th.
‘The public telephone on Ilen Street was used, on average, just six times a month over the last 12 months,’ a spokesperson for Eir told The Southern Star. However, Marie Mulholland of the WCWAV is very concerned that the removal of this service from Skibbereen will impact vulnerable women seeking to access essential protective services.
‘These telephone boxes are often the only means vulnerable women have to seek support from protective services for themselves and their children, and I am calling on Eir to reconsider their decision to remove this phone box,’ Ms Mulholland said.