The offices of The Rainbow Project in Belfast City Centre have been raided in a burglary that caused serious damage to the charities premises.
Thousands of pounds worth of equipment was stolen, including a number of laptops, during the break-in.
Mal O’Hara, who has worked for Rainbow for almost eight years, reassured people that private data had not been stolen.
“The Rainbow Project has reassured service users that private data cannot be accessed via the stolen laptops and I would reiterate that.
“This is a gut-wrenching burglary, particularly on the cusp of Pride week. I’d urge anyone with any information on the theft to contact the PSNI on the non-emergency number 101.
“I hope that people get behind a fundraiser aimed at helping the Rainbow Project in the aftermath of this break in.”
The Rainbow Project is a health organisation that works to improve the physical, mental & emotional health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people in Northern Ireland.
The PSNI said on Wednesday: “Police are investigating a burglary at premises in Waring Street, Belfast.
“It is believed that entry was gained to the property sometime between 6.45pm on Tuesday 17th and 7.45am on Wednesday 18th July.
“Several windows were damaged and computer equipment has been reported stolen.”
The group are fundraising in an effort to replace the stolen items. You can donate on their website or on facebook:
With just over a week to go until Belfast celebrates Pride, The Rainbow Project said that “this is not what we need”
“But we rise up, we continue. Now, we begin the journey to fix and replace everything that was broken.”
Fight for Marriage Equality Continues
Northern Ireland is still fighting for the right to equal marriage. This morning, July 18, Labour MP Conor McGinn has tabled an amendment to attempt to push the government into altering the law to permit same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
McGinn said the government should accept his amendment: “Each day that passes is another day without equality for LGBT couples in Northern Ireland. I am very clear it is a fully functioning, devolved, administration that should consider and implement same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland – and Stormont even voted in favour of this in 2015. But the assembly has been mothballed and there aren’t even any talks taking place at the minute about its re-establishment.
“Without any solid proposals for changing the law after my bill to do so was blocked by one Tory backbencher, government ministers’ warm words about support for equality will ring hollow to those in Northern Ireland who are denied the basic right to marry the person they love.”
During a recent urgent question in the Commons on the issue, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, whose brief also covers equalities, said she hoped to make progress on the issue.
“I am aware that I have a number of issues in my in-tray as equalities minister, civil partnerships and equal marriage in Northern Ireland being just two of them,” she said. “We have private member’s bills before the House, and we must resolve the issues, and I will examine what I can do to support that.”
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