Fingal County Council passes motion condemning anti-LGBTQ+ protest at Swords Library

The National LGBT Federation praised the council for condemning “far right, anti-LGBT+ extremists,” and for vowing “to protect libraries & inclusive services”.

A pile of books as Fingal County Council condemns library protests.
Image: Pexels

At a meeting on Tuesday, April 11, Fingal County Council passed a motion condemning the recent far-right protest at Swords Library. Initially submitted separately by Cllr John Burtchaell and Cllr Karen Power, the merged and amended proposal received overwhelming support from fellow councillors and the Chief Executive.

The motion expressed “concern for and solidarity with the workers in Swords library and all of the libraries across Fingal in the face of such intimidation,” and called for a meeting between Council officials, library workers and their union representatives and relevant Garda authorities to discuss how such demonstrations should be policed in the future. 

Arguing his proposal, Burtchaell said: “The debate isn’t about child welfare, the debate is about the right of LGBTQ+ people to exist in peace, safety and free from harassment, bigotry and violence. You either stand with that community or you stand with their abusers and tormentors.”

Commenting on the motion’s passing, GCN’s governing board, the National LGBT Federation (NXF), praised Fingal County Council for condemning “far right, anti-LGBT+ extremists,” and for vowing “to protect libraries & inclusive services”.


The protest in question took place on April 6, with representatives from the Natural Women’s Council, Irish Education Alliance, Parents Rights Alliance, Lawyers For Justice Ireland and Hold The Line targeting the Dublin-based library. Witnesses claim that a number of members from the group were escorted into the property by Gardaí, where they allegedly confronted staff for roughly 15 minutes, opposing six titles in particular, including This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson and Trans Teen Survival Guide by Fox Fisher and Owl Fisher.

A counter-demonstration “in support of the LGBTQ+ community” also took place on the opposite side of the main street, spearheaded by People Before Profit.

At a separate County Council meeting last night, a motion asking the Chief Executive “to implement a ‘Rainbow Steps’ initiative at various locations across South Dublin to promote diversity and inclusion within the County,” was also submitted.


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