Katherine Zappone, Ann Louise Gilligan Among Those Celebrated At The GALAS 2017

Hosting The GALAS 2017 were glamorous personalities DJ Jenny Greene and Stephen Byrne


Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, her late wife Ann Louise Gilligan, Dave Roche and over a dozen more LGBT+ activists and advocates were honoured at The GALAS 2017 on Saturday, October 21 in The Mansion House.

Last night saw hundreds of people gather to celebrate together at Ireland’s annual LGBT+ award ceremony, with a powerful performance from Gloria choir kicking off the festivities which were hosted by DJ Jenny Green and presenter Stephen Byrne.

The performance was followed by touching speeches from both Gilligan’s and Roche’s spouses, the other winners and an address from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.



All the winners at the GALAS 2017

There was roughly a score of winners at The GALAS , including Gloria choir who received a Special Award following their performance to commemorate 21 years of incredible choral music.

In what can only be described as The GALAS’ Oscars moment, the award for Volunteer Organisation of the Year (sponsored by The George) was initially presented to the wrong group, The Dublin Lesbian Line, before Byrne and Greene corrected course to give the award to rightful winner, LOOK (Loving Our Out Kids), pictured below.

The parents from LOOK holding their award at the GALAS 2017 in front of a branded background

LINC (Lesbians in Cork) won the Community Organisation of the Year Award (sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald & LLP), with LINC’s Kate Moynihan holding the award below.

Sharon Nolan was awarded Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by FFI) for her work with Bi+ Ireland. Nolan is also an advocate for abortion rights in Ireland and has been involved in the movement to repeal the eighth amendment.

Recognising the organisation’s work supporting LGBT+ employees in the workplace and the launch of a new LGBT+ Inclusion Policy earlier this year, Dublin City Council was awarded Employer of the Year (sponsored by BNY Mellon).

The LGBT Student Award (sponsored by Accenture) went to Síona Cahill from The USI (Union of Students in Ireland), the 2017/2018 Deputy President/Vice President for Equality & Citizenship.

Dave Roche was awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement award for his work as an LGBT+ activist which spanned decades. Roche’s partner, Paul O’Shea, took to the stage to accept the award on his behalf and to pay tribute to his lifelong work bettering the LGBT+ community.

The winner of Sports Award (sponsored by AIB) at The GALAS this year was Cameron Keighron, a transgender athlete who has competed in fencing for the last three years.

This year’s winner of the Online Award (sponsored by Celebrity Cruises & Tour America) is the GMHS Sexual Health App Campaign.

The winners of the Online Award at the galas wearing shirts and suit pants, shoes and holding the award in front of a branded background

The winner of the LGBT Ally Award (sponsored by Pieta House) is the Cork City Inter-agency group.

This year, Belfast Pride won the Event of the Year Award (sponsored by Bodytonic) as the battle for marriage equality rages on in Northern Ireland.

Independent journalist Jason Kennedy won the award for Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Sodexo).

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone took to the stage twice last night to accept her own award for Political Figure of the Year (sponsored by BeLonG To), and to accept the Lifetime Achievement award that was given to her wife, Ann Louise Gilligan.

Zappone’s deeply moving words brought tears to many in the audience during the speech she gave when accepting Gilligan’s Lifetime Achievement award.

Katherine Zappone and her wife Ann Louise Gilligan, who won a lifetime achievement award at The GALAS 2017, smiling in front of a grey stone background

The winner of the Irish Art & Literature Award (sponsored by KPMG) went to The Ref and The Paradise by Acting Out Group.

The winners of the Arts & Literature Award at the GALAS 2017 dressed insults and dresses holding the award in front of a white background.

John Butler’s Handsome Devil was the winner of the Irish TV/Film Award (sponsored by EY). The film tackles the issue of homophobic bullying in schools and is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Xnthony, who performed in the Dublin Fringe Festival this year and was the cover star of the GCN’s Youth Issue (Issue 333), was the winner of the Irish Entertainment Personality of the Year Award (sponsored by HIV Ireland).

Bouhdid Belhedi from Tunisia was the winner of the International Award (sponsored by ICCL, Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders and NXF).

Paying tribute to his work as the Director of TENI, Broden Giambrone won the Person of the Year Award (sponsored by Google). Heralded as a “visionary leader” and “pivotal” in the development of TENI, Giambrone stepped down from his role at TENI earlier this year.

Broden Giambrone, who won person of the year at The GALAS 2017, holding his award in front of a branded background

KnowNow were the recipients of the Noel Walsh HIV Activism Award (sponsored by Dublin Bus), which the organisation’s manager, Adam Shanley, took to the GALAS stage to accept.

KnowNow founder Adam Shanley holding an award at The GALAS 2017

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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