*At the announcement of €35,000 in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development dormant accounts fund, to be distributed to LGBTI+ services in County Clare were; Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Mary Howard, at front; with, at back from left, Emma Sams, North West Clare Family Resource Centre,  Kees Duson, Killaloe Ballina Family Resource Centre, Cillian Flynn, GOSHH Operations Manager, Brian McManus, Clare Youth Services, Patrick McElligott, GOSHH LGBT Support Worker, Ann Mason, GOSHH General Manager, Deirdre Power, Rural Development Department , Clare County Council and Yvonne McElligott, Clare Haven Services.

Clare has been selected as one of eight counties in the country to receive funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) services under the Dormant Accounts Fund.

In November 2019, Seán Canney TD, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, published the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2020 providing funding to address disadvantage across the country. This includes the provision of €200k to support LGBTI+ community organisations.

County Clare was selected as one of eight organisations nationwide and has been awarded €35,000 from the Dormant Accounts Fund. The funding is based on proposals received from organisations around the county who are seeking to complete projects which ensure that existing community infrastructure is inclusive and welcoming to LGBTI+ people.

Following a countywide call for expressions of interest, 10 organisations across the county will benefit from the funding, including: Clare Women’s Network, Clare Haven, Clare Youth Service, North West Clare Family Resource Centre, Ennis Musical Society, Fishbowl Youth, Burren Art Gallery, Scarriff Foróige Youth Club and Killaloe/Ballina Family Resource Centre.

Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard (FG), has welcomed this funding support for non-profit organisations around the county, saying: “It offers a great opportunity to staff and participants of organisations who wish to receive training and support services.”

Bernadette Haugh, Senior Executive Officer, Rural Development, Clare County Council, said: “The funding will ensure that existing community infrastructure is inclusive and welcoming to all LGBTI+ individuals.”

The funding will support the organisation, GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV), in providing services to Clare people. GOSHH is a charity that provides a safe, confidential, welcoming environment for everyone availing of their services with a focus on the promotion of equality and wellbeing of all with a positive and respectful approach to sexual orientation and gender diversity.

Ann Mason, GOSHH Manager, said: “Rural isolation can have a major impact on the social and mental health of LGBTI+ people. We are delighted to receive this funding which will allow LGBTI+ people and their families avail of support services available from GOSHH and we encourage people who need to access supports to contact us.”

For more information on the service provided by GOSHH visit www.goshh.ie

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