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