'Our Work Is Not Finished' Says Zappone AT LGBT Ireland Launch

The Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD officially launched LGBT Ireland as a national service provider and advocacy organisation in Dublin's Mansion House yesterday.

Katherine Zappone holds the LGBT Ireland Strategy release

Yesterday we attended the official launch, led by Dr Katherine Zappone, of LGBT Ireland as a national service provider and advocacy organisation in Dublin’s Mansion House.

LGBT Ireland will provide key services to LGBT people and the wider national population in three core pillars of service provision; Support in non-judgemental, confidential help lines, including on-line web chats and peer support services; Training to Statutory & Voluntary Agencies and community groups and act as an Advocacy organisation for the rights of all LGBT people living in Ireland.

Paula Fagan, CEO, set out the role of the organisation saying “LGBT Ireland is a newly established charity which has been developed out of the National LGBT Helpline project.  Over the past decade the helpline has supported thousands of LGBT people and their families, so we know firsthand the issues and struggles that many still face across the country.

“While Ireland has come a long way in providing rights and protections for LGBT people, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that when a person is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Trans, they can be open about who they are, without any fear of encountering negative reactions or stigma.  With LGBT Ireland we will continue to deliver vital support services while also being a strong advocacy voice for LGBT rights and inclusion.  We will also be providing training to staff and volunteers working in Public and Private sector organisations to assist them to better understand the needs of LGBT people and to help make their services more open and welcoming, so that LGBT people are visible and celebrated in workplaces, homes and communities across Ireland.”

The organisation stated that “while significant progress has been made in recent years LGBT Ireland cite national research* to indicate that LGBT people still face considerable challenges. As part of the *LGBT+Youth Strategy, the Department of Children & Youth Affairs published findings where half of the young people surveyed identified ongoing discrimination with 1 in 5 identified bullying & harassment. The findings of *LGBTI Ireland undertaken by Trinity College Dublin found Intersex, Transgender and Bisexuals had the highest scores for anxiety, depression and stress”.

LGBT Ireland sets out to expand services nationally for LGBT people, their families, friends, and communities and to deliver training on LGBT issues to the wider audiences in Ireland.  The LGBTI Ireland study identified barriers to accessing supports and it is within this context that the provision of quality assured LGBT+ Awareness training for professionals is critically important. LGBT aims to develop and deliver quality assured training through a strategic partnership with key agencies.

In its’ advocacy role the aim is to ensure LGBT people are heard and listened to at every level, in policy and practical levels at national and regional levels with an emphasis of advocating on the needs of rural LGBT people.

In its’ supports services, the strategic plan of the organisation states that a key role of the organisation will be to develop community based supports regionally.

LGBT Ireland continually works with its’ Network Members to add value and substance to regional services. It also aims to evolve with its’ partners in developing services and advocating for inclusion and equality.

Chairperson of LGBT Ireland, Bernadine Quinn said “LGBT people deserve their representation to be as professional as any other sector. LGBT services in the past have been delivered on a very local basis leaving services very “Ad hoc” or funding compliant, our vision for LGBT Ireland is to change that with the continued support of our members and partners to deliver a coherent cohesive message across Ireland.  We plan to do this through the delivery of standardised training, presenting a clear message to all recipients across the country. The aim of LGBT Ireland is to advocate for LGBT people and their families and to be the go-to service for support and information. LGBT Ireland also aims to attain triple lock governance status as a National organisation.”

LGBT Ireland has partnered with a number of organisations including Belong To, TENI and The National Traveller & Roma Action Group.

The network members of LGBT Ireland are:

  • OutWest
  • Cork Community Development Company
  • Dundalk Outcomers
  • LINC
  • LGBT Dublin
  • LGBT Galway
  • LGBT Kilkenny


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