Galas 2023

Cork City Library staff, a Kenyan LGBTQ+ activist and rural Pride organisations among awards recipients at this year’s GALAS LGBTQ+ Awards

Cork City Library staff members; Beryl Ohas, a Kenyan LGBTQ+ activist who moved to Ireland in 2019; Kerry’s “Kingdom Pride” and Donegal’s “Bród na Gaeltachta” are just some of the award recipients announced at the GALAS LGTBQ+ awards.

The awards took place in The Round Room at the Mansion House in Dublin (Sat, October 7th) and were organised by the NXF (The National LGBT Federation) and GCN, Ireland’s leading media outlet and information service for the LGBTQ+ community.  

The GALAS celebrate and acknowledge LGBTQ+ individuals, volunteer organisations and companies working to make Ireland, and the world, a better place for the LGBTQ+ community. Over 500 people attended the event which was hosted by Panti Bliss and Lisa Connell.  

This year the GALAS received over 3,000 nominations from members of the public, shortlisted to 51 individuals, organisations and companies. The event had 13 awards across a range of categories, with award recipients chosen by LGBTQ+ advocacy organisations based throughout Ireland. 

Cork City Library staff members were named “Ally of the Year”, while Beryl Ohas won “Person of the Year. Ms Ohas has actively campaigned with LGBTQ+ organisations in Kenya and since moving to Ireland has continued her activism through her social media, and is a graduate of the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s Migrant Leadership Academy. She works as a Cultural Mediator with IOM Ireland, the United Nations Migration Agency.  

 The full details of this year’s winners are:  

 Community Organisation of the Year – paid staff 

  • LGBT Ireland 

LGBTQ+ Community Organisation (Volunteer Staff) 

  • Kingdom Pride in Kerry 

 LGBTQ+ Volunteer of the Year Award 

  • Lisa Daly 

LGBTQ+ Event of the Year Award 

  • Bród na Gaeltachta (Donegal Pride Festival) 

 LGBTQ+ Young Trailblazer Award 

  • Christine O’Mahony 

 LGBTQ+ Sports Award 

  • Giulia Valentino 

 Noel Walsh HIV Activism Award 

  • Poz Vibe Podcast 

 LGBTQ+ Ally Award 

  • Cork City Libraries Staff 

 Outstanding Company Award 

  • SSE Airtricity 

 LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group Award 

  • Boston Scientific Clonmel Pride ERG 

 International Activist Award 

  • John Mathenge Mukaburu from Kenya 

 LGBTQ+ Arts & Entertainment Award 

  • Aerach Aiteach Gaelach 

 LGBTQ+ Person of the Year Award 

  • Beryl Ohas 

Speaking after the GALAS, Anna Nolan, Chair of the NXF, said:

“This year’s event demonstrated that the GALAS is an invaluable gathering for our community, to acknowledge the vital work that happens around the country in promoting equality. I would like to thank all the nominees and award recipients for their unwavering passion and hard work, and congratulate them on their achievement. 

New strategy for the NXF  

At the awards the NXF launched their new strategy for 2023-2026. Ireland’s oldest LGBTQ+ NGO in Ireland, the organisation has played a vital role in campaigning for the equal rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. Their new strategy sets out their mission to connect, celebrate and empower the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland and their key focus areas for the next three years, which will include:  

  • Creating a new Rainbow Summit, to bring together leaders of LGBTQ+ organisations throughout Ireland to discuss key issues affecting the community and lobby for legal reform;  
  • Creating new opportunities to foster leadership and develop a new generation of LGBTQ+ activists;  
  • Continuing to celebrate and promote the impact and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community through events such as the GALAS.  

Commenting on the launch of the strategy, Ms Nolan said:

I am delighted to launch the new NXF Strategy 2023 – 2026. In 2022, the NXF continued its practice of identifying the key focus for its work, starting with developing a strategy for GCN, and in 2023 developing a strategy framework for all the work of the organisation.  With this Strategy Framework, the NXF is now perfectly placed to move into an exciting, refreshed and focused direction. 

The strategy is available to view by clicking NXF strategy 2023

Ireland’s only LGBTQ+ awards

Nominations open for Ireland’s only LGBTQ+ awards

  • The Galas set to take place in Dublin on 7th October

    The Galas, Ireland’s only LGBTQ+ awards programme, is open for nominations. Organised by the National LGBT Federation, the NXF, and GCN, Ireland’s leading media outlet and information service for the LGBTQ+ community, the awards acknowledge the contribution of individuals, companies and organisations and their work to make Ireland, and the world, a better place for the LGBTQ+ community.

    This year the Galas will take place on Saturday, 7th October in the Round Room in the Mansion House, and 2023 will mark a first return of the awards since 2020.

    Commenting today, Anna Nolan, Chair of the NXF, said: “The Galas are back for the first time in three years, and we are excited to host an inspiring, uplifting and positive event for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. In the context of increasing threats against our community both at home and abroad, it is important to shine a light on and celebrate the positive impact of those who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

    “We’re encouraging people throughout Ireland to help us celebrate the community and nominate the individuals, organisations and companies who have had a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community over the past two years.”

    This year’s awards will have 12 categories:

    · Community Organisation of the Year – paid staff

    · Community Organisation of the Year – volunteer staff

    · Volunteer of the Year

    · Event of the Year

    · LGBTQ+ Young Trailblazer

    · Sports Award

    · Arts & Entertainment

    · Noel Walsh HIV Activism

    · LGBTQ+ Ally

    · Outstanding Company

    · LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group

    · Person of the Year.


Nominations can be made online here:

Tickets for the Galas will go on sale in the coming weeks, and further information on the Galas is available here:


Anna Nolan appointed Chairperson of NXF

Michael Brett appointed as New Group Manager for GCN, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ media outlet 

Anna Nolan has been appointed Chairperson of the NXF, the National LGBT Federation. The NXF publishes GCN, Ireland’s national media outlet for the LGBTQ+ community. The NXF also runs the GALAS Awards which celebrate the contribution of LGBTQ+ individuals, groups and organisations to Irish society; it undertakes research projects and advocacy activities to promote equality; as well as archiving projects to document and preserve Irish LGBTQ+ history. 

Previous Chairpersons of the NXF include Senator David Norris, Ailbhe Smyth, and Tonie Walsh.  

About Anna Nolan

Anna Nolan has over 20 years’ experience in the media industry, having worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE.  She is now Head of Development at COCO Content, one of Ireland’s leading television production companies. 

Anna joined the NXF in 2021, tasked with working with GCN. Over the last 18 months she has collaborated with the GCN team to create their new 3-year strategy, which will be published this spring.

Speaking about her appointment Anna Nolan says, “I’m thrilled to have been appointed Chair of the NXF, working with the voluntary members of this board.  The NXF is the oldest LGBTQ+ NGO in Ireland and I am excited to bring the NXF forward, to build on its achievements and move into a dynamic and impactful period, during this crucial time for LGBTQ+ people. I am also incredibly excited to continue working with GCN, and to support the work they do for the LGBTQ+ community.  More than ever, GCN’s contribution to Irish society is vital, in a world that sees minorities like our community under threat.”

A registered charity with a not-for-profit business model, GCN has been Ireland’s free national LGBTQ+ press since 1988. For over three decades, GCN has acted as a key resource to inform, educate, connect and entertain the LGBTQ+ community.  

“The team at GCN punch above their weight. Along with the publication of its magazine, when you consider the digital reach GCN has – there were 2.6m page views of in 2022 plus a highly engaged audience across all major social media platforms, this highlights the fact that more than ever, people are looking to GCN for up-to-the-minute information, support and education, and to discover more about our broad and diverse community.”

Michael Brett, newly appointed Group Manager for GCN

As well as a new Chairperson for the NXF, GCN has appointed a new Group Manager to lead the organisation and implement its new three-year strategy. Michael Brett, a stalwart of the media industry in Ireland with over 20 years’ experience, has been appointed to manage the not-for-profit. 

The Group Manager is a newly created position, with responsibility for overseeing GCN’s operations and editorial team; governance and funding; and implementing GCN’s new three-year strategy which will focus on continuing to provide a voice for and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Ireland.

About Michael Brett

A native of Kilkenny, Michael Brett has over 20 years of experience in media including both as a presenter and in management roles. He has worked with local radio stations including Radio Kilkenny, Tipp FM, and worked in television; before moving to a role as Programme and Content Director for Spin South West, 98FM and Spin 1038.  Most recently, Michael has been involved with Learning Waves Skillnet to provide training to the broadcast industry and with the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland. He also managed the pop-up radio station, Pride Vibes, which ran last June and July to celebrate Pride across the country. 

Speaking about his appointment of Group Manager for GCN, Michael Brett said: “I’m very excited to be joining the amazing team at GCN, especially at such an important time as GCN continues to evolve into a dynamic platform for our community. Over its 35-year history, GCN has evolved into a multimedia organisation, starting with the magazine, and online, organising events, and keeping the community up to date on social media channels.”

Commenting on Mr Brett’s appointment, Anna Nolan said: “We are delighted to welcome Michael Brett to GCN, in what is a critical role for the organisation and for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Ireland. We would also like to say thank you to our outgoing Managing Editor of GCN, Lisa Connell, who has worked tirelessly for the LGBTQ+ community for the past 14 years.” 

Further information about GCN is available here: 


LGBTI+ community experienced greater hardship due to lockdown, finds report from LGBT Ireland, NXF and GCN

LGBT Ireland, together with the National LGBT Federation (NXF) and Gay Community News (GCN) released the LGBTI+ Life in Lockdown Survey Report on Friday 27th November.

Amongst other findings, the survey of 1,855 members of the LGBT Community has shown that 62% experienced a decline in their mental health during lockdown, substantially higher than the impacts reported in the general population in recent surveys.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused incredible hurt, damage and loss across all aspects of society around the world. While everyone has felt the impact, some communities are hit worse than others, whether by the virus itself or by its knock-on effects.

The LGBTI+ Community already endures the injustice of discrimination and inequality, and the results from this snapshot survey show that the pandemic and lockdown has hit the LGBTI+ community much harder than the general population.

The voices represented in the report highlight the struggles of LGBTI+ people who are additionally marginalised including LGBTI+ migrants, Traveller and Roma, refugees, older, living with a long-term disability, or other intersectional identities. These groups have been the most impacted amongst the LGBTI+ community.

The LGBTI+ community rely on community spaces, social connections, and the ability to take pride in their identities, together. The community has suffered so many different forms of loss throughout this pandemic, and for many it is difficult to see the end in sight.

LGBT Ireland, NXF and GCN are grateful to the people who shared their perspectives on how this global health crisis has affected their physical and mental health, how the sudden social isolation has impacted their lives and relationships and how the situation has further exacerbated existing inequalities. The insights from this research will help to design the support and educational services provided by the vital LGBTI+ groups across the country.

To access the report, please visit

The National LGBT Helpline 1890-929539 is available 7 days a week, hours of operation on