The official launch of Mullingar Pride, a new group serving the interests of Mullingar’s LGBT+ population, was held last Friday, 30th September, in YoYo Youth Café in Columb Barracks, Mullingar. The colorful event was well attended by locals, and the local LGBT community, with support coming from national groups like GLEN, TENI and the National LGBT Federation.
The group’s Chairperson, Nigel Connor, welcomed the crowd and set out the aims of the organization. There was a welcome to the town from the Mayor, John Shaw, who talked about creating a more diverse and open town in Mullingar.
The main speaker of the evening was Sandra Irwin Gowran, who was instrumental in the passing of the marriage referendum on same-sex marriage, spoke about her childhood in the town, and her hopes for the group. She said:
“I’m really delighted to see Mullingar Pride being launched – it’s really important for young people to have positive role-models, to see that you can live in a medium-sized town and be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. It was wonderful to see the visibility of Yes Equality Westmeath during the referendum, men and women, gay and straight, working together to create a better, fairer more inclusive society. I was so proud to see the images of people on the market square, to have my Mum adorn one of the canvass cards, to have my sister, her husband and their kids knocking on doors asking people to vote yes. So do I think the name Mullingar Pride is fitting? I certainly do, I hope that the generations of LGBT people, who grow up in Mullingar, will feel pride in their identity, and will be supported to do so by those around them.”
A beautiful rainbow cake was cut as a symbol of the launch. The cake was made by local woman, Lorraine Malone, and cupcakes were supplied from local bakery, Patisserie 2210.
The event was attended by local TD, Robert Troy, by the Cathaoirleach of the \Westmeath County Council, Frank McDermott, Mullingar Mayor, John Shaw, and a representative from the community division.
The Mullingar Pride committee is made up of Nigel Connor, Richard Muldarry, and Jennifer Coyne. The art for the group is produced by locally-based artist, Charles Badiller.
The group’s newly-launched website is www.mullingarpride.com and more information for the group can be found there and on Facebook.