The annual LGBTI+ Awareness Week in Cork City was held last week (12th to 18th May). The week coincides each year with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biophobia. Having itself received the Ally Award at the GALAS – Ireland’s national LGBTI+ Awards, the LGBTI+ Inter Agency Group in Cork decided this year to celebrate the allies they have made in Cork. At the formal launch of this year’s LGBTI+ Awareness Week in Cork City Hall by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, awards were presented to ‘Allies for Inclusion.’
Recognising the pioneering steps taken by St Anne’s Parish, Shandon in Cork, for leading a way that others have followed since, and referring in particular to the work done by the former rector, the Reverend Brian O’Rourke, and in the years since by the Reverend Sarah Marry, together with the people of the Parish, the parish was the only faith group to receive an ‘Allies for Inclusion’ award. The Reverend Sarah Marry received the award from the Lord Mayor of Cork on behalf of the Parish. Along with this one ‘faith champion’ award, there were eight awards to public service champions, and six community champions.
The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, was one of just seven people who was honoured with an individual award. The other individual recipients were: Pat Ledwidge and Ann Doherty of Cork City Council, Catherine Clancy (a former Lord Mayor of Cork), Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, Cllr John Buttimer, and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn.
A large gathering of people was present in the Atrium of Cork City hall for the occasion, and Cork Choral Con Fusion, as ever, sang. In 2oo2 Cork City was the only local authority in the country to include an LGBTI+ specific objective in its development plan and created an Inter-Agency Group to advance the objective:
Objective 86: The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities will be enabled to fully participate in the social, cultural and economic life of Cork City.