South Dublin Mayor Kavanagh aims to honour people who helped LGBTQ+ community during lockdown

Mayor Peter Kavanagh has announced plans to honour those who helped minority groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

A smiling bearded man in a park

Mayor Peter Kavanagh of South Dublin County Council has referred to hardships suffered by both the LGBTQ+ and Travelling communities during the pandemic, with particular emphasis on young trans people.

“If you’re a young trans person and your parents aren’t supportive – you can’t be yourself at home,” the Mayor said. “But you get the opportunity when you meet with your friends, or when you go to college, or you go to pubs in town or whatever.”

Mayor Kavanagh, who also acts as an Independent Councillor, acknowledges the reality that many people within the queer community lost access to all of their safe spaces during the pandemic.

“To have all that taken away for 18 months – it’s a massive blow, particularly if you’re in an environment at home where you can’t express yourself or even worse you can’t be yourself.”

With many of the LGBTQ+ community cut off from their support networks during the pandemic, mental health within the community was in a steep decline.

“There are certain groups that it’s affected disproportionately,” said the Mayor. “On a very human level, there’s the likes of immigrants, travellers and people in the LGBTQ + community, for various different reasons, they would have felt very much disproportionately affected by the pandemic as well.”

As outlined by Mayor Kavanagh, the other seriously affected minority group is the Travelling community. According to data released by Pavee Point earlier this year, Travellers had over twice the Covid incidence rate of those outside their community.

The Mayor wants to commemorate those who helped members of both communities pull through the worst of the pandemic. As shared with Dublin Live; “In my own personal capacity as Mayor, I’d certainly like to recognise individual members of that community and groups walking in those communities who have helped people throughout the pandemic.

“We will look at doing something like that this year – thanking them for their efforts.”

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