Powerful LGBT+ Mural Unveiled in Portlaoise


Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD cuts the tape when celebrating Midlands LGBT+ Project’s first Birthday and the launch of their new LGBT+ mural in Portlaoise.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Midlands LGBT+ Project, a Laois based service helping to reduce isolation among LGBT+ people in the Midlands are delighted to reveal a new Pride themed mural in Portlaoise.

Officially launched by Minister Roderic O’Gorman , Minster for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said he was “delighted to visit Portlaoise to officially unveil a stunning mural in celebration of the first year of the Midlands LGBT+ Project. I want to congratulate the work of the Midlands LGBT+ Project over the past 12 months in supporting members of the LGBT+ community through the pandemic. My Department is supporting the expansion of the Project into Offaly and Kildare, and I’m delighted that many more people will be able to enjoy the welcoming sense of belonging and acceptance that is encouraged by the Midlands LGBT+ Project”.

The stunning mural is located behind the Library, just off Meehan Court. The mural was funded by Healthy Ireland Laois to promote LGBT+ awareness and visibility. 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. This Mural captures this vision and as the Healthy Laois Co-Ordinator I welcome the opportunity to be involved in this Project” says Emma O’Connor, Health Laois Coordinator.

Celebrating Midlands LGBT+ Project’s first Birthday and the launch of their new LGBT+ mural in Portlaoise.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Coordinator of the Midlands LGBT+ Project Christina Fitzharris says “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 and this mural is a beautiful depiction of how strong and proud we are of our LGBT+ Community in Laois”.

Minister Hackett said ‘On what is such a positive day for the Midlands LGBT+ community, collaboration was very much at the centre of the celebrations. We were told that today is about collaboration within a community, and for people who have for too long experienced isolation and exclusion, it is so important to have a place like Midlands LGBT+. It is clear that this project is changing lives for the better’

Owner of the wall Karl Rafferty with Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD celebrating Midlands LGBT+ Project’s first Birthday and the launch of their new LGBT+ mural in Portlaoise.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Conor Bergin visited the mural and 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”. On behalf of Laois Local Community Development Committee Joe Thompson commented “Since Healthy Laois commenced in 2018, actions have been devised to target specific and diverse groups in the promotion of health and physical activity. This Mural is the result of working with our local LGBT+ Citizens and key service providers and I congratulate all involved”

Youth Work Ireland Laois Regional Director Clive Davis says “We are delighted to see a visual representation of the LGBT+ Community within Laois and we are so proud of The Midlands LGBT+ Project for the work they have done to maximise awareness within the region since their inception last year.”

 

 

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD with from left: Christina Fitzharris, LGBT+ Project Co-ordinator; Clive Davis, Regional Director Youth Work Ireland Laois; Joe Thompson, Chairman of Laois LCDC and Anne Marie Kirrane, Healthy Ireland Manager Laois County Council celebrating Midlands LGBT+ Project’s first Birthday and the launch of their new LGBT+ mural in Portlaoise.
Picture: Alf Harvey.The mural, created by local artist ADW is a striking representation of solidarity and strength for the LGBT+ Community.