Carlow has been selected to host a meeting of Pride organisers from across Ireland to form new Ireland Pride Network.
In a Facebook post, Carlow Pride said, “We are thrilled to announce that the organisers of European Pride Organisers Association have selected beautiful Carlow, Ireland as the destination for the inaugural Ireland Pride Network conference. We are so incredibly delighted to have international visitors and national delegates coming to Carlow town in January.”
The Ireland Pride Network conference will be held on January 25-26 in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel. InterPride (World Pride) organisers will be in attendance along with 30 to 50 delegates.
Further stating on Facebook, Carlow Pride said, “Carlow was selected in part due to the success of our inaugural pride. Carlow Pride Festival committee have been helping the EPOA with the logistics of holding such an event, and this has helped make it happen. We are proudly putting Carlow on the map.”
In July 2019, the first ever Carlow Pride made its grand debut to resounding success. Since the launch, it has been followed by an LGBT+ event night in Athy and potential plans for an LGBT+ dedicated mural in Carlow town. One of the organisers of Carlow Pride, John Paul Payne, said, “We hope that we can continue on being that beacon of hope for LGBT+ people in rural Ireland and the south east.”
Recently, John Paul has been shortlisted for the Volunteer Ireland Awards in the Culture, Arts and Media category. Volunteer Ireland committee member Robert O’Brien said, “John Paul has done the inevitable, through his vision and hard work he has united our town and created a safe environment and place for all of us no matter what our gender or social background.”
During a Halloween themed event at Scraggs Alley, Carlow Pride raised a phenomenal €790 to help fund next year’s festivities. From the initial launch, the group continues to go from strength to strength as they create a more open space for the LGBT+ community in rural Ireland.
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