Cork celebrates LGBTQ+ Awareness week and remembers Tony Power

The Lord Mayor of Cork acknowledged the importance of LGBTQ+ awareness and visibility and paid tribute to a champion of LGBTQ+ rights during a launch event.

Members of the defence forces at the launch of the Cork LGBTQ+ Awareness Week 2021. The photograph shows ten people standing to attention in military attire holding a progressive Pride flag.
Image: @jmcoughlan via Twitter

Cork County Council has been marking LGBTQ+ Awareness week by hoisting Pride flags across the county to recognise their commitment to fighting homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Speaking at the launch event, Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Colm Kelleher, said “It was an absolute honour and a privilege to officially launch Cork LGBTI+ Awareness Week in the Millennium Hall”.

He also acknowledged the impact of the event noting that “In earlier years we celebrated the enormous progress made to enshrine LGBTI+ rights, but more recently in examples from across the world and closer to home, we have seen how there are no guarantees that this progress will continue and many hard-won rights are instead being eroded.”

He also stated, “This highlights how important it is to work collectively and collaboratively on LGBTIQ+ issues because combatting homophobia and transphobia is a responsibility for all of us — the city, our council and public agencies, our communities and LGBTI NGOs and every single one of us.”

During the event, Councillor Kelleher also paid tribute to Tony Power, who passed away in July last year, describing him as “a voice for compassion and inclusivity, and a stalwart of all that is right and good in our city”.

Through his work in the council’s social inclusion unit, Mr Power had been an advocate for migrants and other marginalised groups. He had also been at the forefront of making Cork the first city in Ireland to fly the Rainbow Flag from a civic building in 2014.

As well as displaying flags on civic buildings, Cork will also host a series of talks, seminars and other events focusing on the theme of this year’s LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, ‘Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights’.

The week will culminate in a Rainbow Picnic to be hosted by the Lord Mayor in the People’s Park at 2.15pm on Saturday. The event will feature music from the Barrack Street Band, the Shandon Ukuleles, and the Cork Academy of Music.

For further information on events happening across the week click here.

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