Our 24hr helpline is 1800 46 46 46
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About us

We are a comprehensive service for women and children affected by domestic violence in the Meath area.

What we do

Our services include a 24-hour / 365 day a year helpline and refuge accommodation, outreach, counselling, court accompaniment, children’s programme and advocacy.

Our purpose

We exist to:

  • Provide a space where women and children living with abuse in the home can find the options available to them for their safety.

  • Support, advocate for, and alongside, women dealing with abuse of themselves and their children.

Our values

  • Women and Child Centered
    • All our work is led by the needs of women and children, and we bring their voice to everything we do. We are committed and passionate about women and children’s human rights.

  • Inclusive
    • We embrace diversity and strive to be a fully inclusive organisation in who we work with, who works for us and how we do our work.

  • Accountable
    • We strive to always achieve the highest standards across the organisation.

  • Trustworthy
    • We act with empathy, compassion, and integrity.


Logo: Children's Rights AllianceLogo: Safe Ireland

Our Impact last Year

Emergency Refuge Accommodation
185 women and children provided with emergency accommodation (41% increase on 2022)
Outreach and Court Support
528 women and children supported in the community in Meath. Supported applications for 339 Protection, Safety, and Interim Barring Orders in the Courts (53% increase on 2022).  
Helpline Services
Responded to 1,437 helpline calls and referrals (27% increase on 2022)
Professional Counselling
540 sessions of counselling for women (3% increase on 2022)
Therapy for children
66 sessions of play and music therapy for children
Education and Awareness
34 women took part in our group education programmes.
193,630 reach on social media.

Our funding

Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services receives statutory funding from:

We are grateful to receive donations from the public and a range of other philanthropic supporters, including Meath County Council, Community Foundation Ireland, Meta and HSE National Lottery. Find out more about how you or your company can Get Involved and help us grow our impact.

Who we are

Sinead Smith


Sinead is CEO at Meath Women's Refuge & Support Services.

Sinead has 22 years experience in the community and voluntary sector in Ireland, much of which has been spent in senior management roles in managing people, projects and budgets including European projects. She is passionate about human rights, equality issues and a strong commitment to a social change agenda. Sinead was the inaugural chair of the Local, Community and Development Committee in Meath County Council. She has represented organisations at sectoral, national and european level in policy development, research and grassroots campaigns. She has worked across a range of areas including women's rights, Traveller rights, immigration and asylum issues and community development work advancement.

Sinead Gogan

Sinead is Chief Human Resources Officer with Deloitte Ireland.

Working with Deloitte, Sinead has responsibility for the firm people and purpose strategy. Sinead is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development and holds post-graduate qualifications in employment law and alternate dispute resolution. In addition to her voluntary role with Meath Women's Refuge & Support Services Sinead was appointed as an ordinary member to the Board of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in Ireland.

Ruth Keegan
Board Member

Ruth Keegan is HR Director with Novo Nordisk.

Ruth has worked in HR for many years across the public and private sector.  She is currently HR Director for Novo Nordisk Ireland having previously held senior HR roles in Mylan, Vodafone and Sanofi. Ruth has just completed a MSc in organisational psychology from DCU and is a chartered member of the CIPD.

Michele Sweeney
Board Member

Michelle is Director with Opperman Associates, Architects.

Michelle has an extensive career in architecture and working in the architecture & planning industry. As Director with Oppermann Associates, Michele has responsibility for design and in particular in relation to the company's leisure and schools work. She has in excess of twenty years experience in the design and implementation of large and complex projects both in Ireland and internationally.

Claire Sheeran
Board Member

Claire is Communications Manager with Avista.

Claire is a communications professional with 10 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. She is currently Communications Manager with Avista (Formerly Daughters of Charity Disability Support services) and has previously worked in the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and Headline Ireland. Claire is a proud Meath woman and has served as a Board member with Meath Women’s Refuge since March 2021.

Richelle Manning
Board Member

Richelle is Investor Relations and Credit Rating Manager for ESB.

Richelle previously held a number of roles in the ESB Group including Finance Business Partner, Networks Governance Manager, and most recently Business Pricing Manager, Customer Solutions. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and previously worked with KPMG in Dublin.

Sinead Christian
Board Member

Sinead has served on our board since 2018 and is undertaking her second term. She has an extensive background in marketing, management and fundraising in the private and charity sector, including with the Irish Wheelchair Association, Make-A-Wish and Trócaire. Sinead also serves on the fundraising and communications committee of the board. Sinead is a strong supporter of the impact and effectiveness of the services in the community and passionate ally on delivering ongoing development and engagement with supporters.

Liam Keane
Board Member

Liam is an established solicitor with a practice based in Meath for almost 30 years.

Liam has been State Solicitor for County Meath since January 2019. He is an Accredited Mediator (Civil & Commercial and Family) and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Liam has been involved in the GAA all his life as a player and as an administrator at club, county and national level. He is also a member of the panel of arbitrators of  Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland – the Sports Arbitration body established by the Federation of Irish Sport.

Meabh Smith
Board Member

Meabh is Communications Director with the Construction Industry Federation.

Meabh has over twenty years of communications experience providing strategic oversight and management of communications including media relation, integrated campaign management, digital marketing, branding, website development, social media engagement, event management and publications. Meabh has worked across many sectors including financial reinsurance, the disability sector and overseas development sectors, where she managed public communications campaigns on domestic and international issues.

Our History

Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services was one of the first women’s refuges in Ireland when established in 1987. A group of pioneering local women conducted research and discovered that domestic violence was one of four key issues affecting women in Meath. These women went on to establish a refuge which was initially staffed on a voluntary basis. In 1990 we secured ongoing state and local authority funding to establish the service on a permanent footing.

For over thirty-five years we have supported and advocated for thousands of women and children affected by domestic violence in Meath. There has been much progress in this time in terms of understanding and awareness, but domestic violence and abuse of women and children is still widespread in Irish society.

Our Structure and Governance

Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services is an independent non-profit charity (Registered Charity Number: 20021634) as well as a Company Limited by Guarantee (Company Number 127494). Our organisation is overseen by a voluntary board of directors bringing expertise from business, social and community sectors. Our independent board is recruited using a transparent board recruitment process and the CEO of Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services reports to the board. Board members are not remunerated for their time and work. The day-to- day management of the organisation is undertaken by our CEO who oversees a team of approximately 26 staff working in our refuge, outreach programme and our child services.

The organisation undertakes an annual audit and from 2019 onwards our audited accounts have been prepared in accordance with SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice, Accounting and Reporting).

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