LGBT Ireland aiming to make Ireland the best place to be LGBTQ+ in Europe

With a commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive environment, LGBT Ireland shares its strategic goals for 2023-2027.

Members of LGBT Ireland stand together at launch of their 2023-2027 strategic plan.
Image: Photographer: Joseph Carr

On Monday, January 16, LGBT Ireland launched its Strategic Plan for 2023-2027 called Making Ireland the Best Place in Europe to be LGBTQI+.

The plan, which was described as ambitious but realistic, aims to support and empower queer people across the nation. It focuses on safety, visibility, and making LGBTQ+ voices heard when it comes to the policies and practices that impact our lives.

The main goals of the strategic plan include:

  1. Further developing services to optimise outcomes for LGBTQ+ people across Ireland
  2. Developing a national quality assured training programme and kitemark in partnership with other LGBTQ+ organisations
  3. Establishing a multidisciplinary LGBTQ+ research network to coordinate a programme of high-quality tesearch
  4. Providing high-quality support services to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees, and empowering them to access their rights
  5. Campaigning alongside allies for necessary policy and practice change to ensure LGBTQ+ equality
  6. Working collaboratively to make Ireland the best place in Europe to be LGBTQ+
  7. Ensuring good practice in governance

Paula Fagan, CEO of LGBT Ireland, introduced the plan by describing how it, “…builds on our achievements, harnesses what we have learned from our incredible member organisations and strategic partners and sets us up for the next phase in our evolution.”

She explained that while Ireland has seen substantial progress in recent years including the introduction of the Hate Offences Bill and a conversion therapy ban in development, new laws are needed to fully support and protect all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Ireland currently ranks 16 out of 49 on ILGA Europe’s LGBTQ+ human rights and equality index 2022, and a 2019 survey from the Central Statistics Office identified LGBTQ+ people as the group with the highest rate of perceived discrimination in Ireland.

In order to achieve the target of becoming the best nation for queer people, key policy areas need to be addressed, including trans healthcare reform, an increase in protections for Intersex people, and removing the age restrictions for gender recognition.

Speaking at the launch, Roderic O’Gorman TD, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, shared that the Irish government is firmly committed to improving the visibility, equality, and safety of LGBTQ+ people in Ireland.

He stated that his priorities include eliminating the practice of conversion therapy and passing the Hate Offences Bill which will support the Gardaí in better prosecuting people who commit hate crimes, and will confirm that Irish society will not tolerate hate speech.

Minister O’Gorman also recognised Ireland for being the first country in the world to launch a national youth strategy in 2018, and acknowledged that in order to build on this progress, refugees must be better supported and questions about gender identity and sexual orientation should be included on the next census.

He identified the rollback in progress happening in the United States, UK and across the world, and reaffirmed the that launch of the strategic plan represents a commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive Ireland.

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