Powerful new mural unveiled in Portlaoise to mark Midlands LGBT+ Project 1st birthday

A brand new mural was unveilled today in Portlaoise by Minister Roderic O’Gorman to celebrate the first year of Midland LGBT+ Project.

Photograph of new mural in Portlaoise. The painting shows a raised fist waving a progressive Pride flag. On the inside of the wrist is a heart and arrow tattoo with the word 'Proud' underneath.

Today sees the launch of two brand new initiatives in Portlaoise to mark the first anniversary of the Midlands LGBT+ Project, the support and advocacy service helping to reduce isolation among LGBTQ+ people in the Midlands.

Coordinator Christina Fitzharris explains “Midlands LGBT+ Project was established in February 2021 as a support and advocacy service for LGBT+ people in Laois and has grown in that time from one support group to almost ten monthly groups and over 100 service users in Laois, Offaly and Kildare. There is no doubt that this service is vital to support isolated LGBT+ people in the Midlands”. 

To mark their first year supporting the community, Midlands LGBT+ Project teamed up with Healthy Ireland Laois to commission a brand new Pride-themed mural.

Created by local artist ADW and unveiled today by Minister of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman, the mural is a powerful representation of solidarity and strength for the queer community and is aimed at promoting visibility and showing support.

Christina goes on, “this mural is a beautiful depiction of how strong and proud we are of our LGBT+ Community in Laois.”

The Healthy Ireland Framework introduces a vision “where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential, where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility” explains Emma O’Connor, Coordinator of Healthy Laois. She goes on, “This Mural captures this vision and… I welcome the opportunity to be involved in this Project”.


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On recognising the importance of mural art, Laois County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Conor Bergin said “I welcome this important health and wellbeing initiative, that supports our local LGBT+ citizens. One of the key objectives of the Healthy Laois Plan is that all people are supported to develop and maintain their mental and physical health.

“Art and especially public art has an important role to play in supporting positive mental health. Mural art can be the first point of contact for someone who is struggling. It is important that we value it and I am delighted to support this initiative”.

In addition to the new mural, Laois County Council will fly the Pride flag outside their offices in Portlaoise, to mark the new mural and to recognise the work done by Midlands LGBT+ Project over the past year.

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