Rain­bow flag flies proudly in Wick­low

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE rain­bow flag was raised at County Build­ings on Thurs­day as Wick­low County Coun­cil joined in a na­tional pride ini­tia­tive.

The lo­cal coun­cil was one of many around the coun­try to raise a rain­bow/ pride flag for the ‘Hav­ing Pride in Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment’ ini­tia­tive.

The Rain­bow Flag was raised by the Cathaoir­leach of Wick­low County Coun­cil, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald and the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Bryan Doyle, to co­in­cide with the first LGBTQ Pride Fes­ti­val of the year which takes place in Dublin this week.

A wreath in mem­ory of the vic­tims of the Or­lando shoot­ing was laid at the cer­e­mony by the Cathaoir­leach and Dave Thomas of the Wick­low Pride Fes­ti­val.

Be­fore lay­ing the wreath the Cathaoir­leach said ‘To­day we reach out to the mem­bers of the LGBT com­mu­nity and show sup­port and sol­i­dar­ity in re­mem­ber- ing the vic­tims of the Or­lando tragedy and their fam­i­lies and friends of the de­ceased and in­jured.’

The na­tion­wide flag rais­ing cer­e­mony has the sup­port of the com­mit­tee of Dublin Pride and the Chair­per­son and Board of GLEN – Gay and Les­bian Equal­ity Net­work.

The Wick­low event was at­tended by coun­cil mem­bers and of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the LGBT com­mu­nity in Wick­low. TWO County Wick­low so­cial en­ter­prises are among the fi­nal­ists in the So­cial En­trepreneurs Ire­land 2016 awards.

Both Bray-based ‘Lak­ers: Meet­ing Spe­cial Needs’, led by Claire Brady, and the Round­wood-based ‘Dab­ble­dooMu­sic’, led by Shane McKenna and Kil­lian Red­monk, are in the fi­nal 18 projects se­lected from all over Ire­land.

Lak­ers is a fi­nal­ist in the Im­pact Pro­gramme, which of­fers €140,000 in fund­ing and sup­port over two years. This cat­e­gory aims to scale projects that have al­ready proven ef­fec­tive in re­solv­ing Ire­land’s most en­trenched so­cial prob­lems.

Lak­ers was founded to pro­vide chil­dren and adults with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their in­nate skills and self-es­teem in a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment.

‘Lak­ers is based on a foun­da­tion of re­spect and in­clu­sion,’ said Ms Brady. ‘Lak­ers mem­bers par­tic­i­pate in recreation and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, and we work along­side them to pro­mote their full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the wider com­mu­nity. We also pro­vide a strong, sup­port­ive net­work for their fam­ily mem­bers.’

Mean­while Dab­ble­dooMu­sic is a fi­nal­ist in the El­e­va­tor Pro­gramme, which pro­vides €30,000 in fund­ing and sup­port over one year. This pro­gramme fo­cuses on early-stage so­cial en­trepreneurs to help them re­fine their so­lu­tions and ac­cel­er­ate the im­pact of their work.

‘Dab­ble­dooMu­sic pro­vides ac­ces­si­ble on­line re­sources and work­shops for teach­ers and par­ents that en­cour­age cre­ativ­ity, col­lab­o­ra­tion and crit­i­cal think­ing in the class­room,’ said Mr McKenna. ‘Our mis­sion is to make mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion more ac­ces­si­ble, en­gag­ing, and fun for teach­ers and stu­dents.’

This year, So­cial En­trepreneurs Ire­land will pro­vide €600,000 in fund­ing and sup­port to nine so­cial en­trepreneurs from across Ire­land. The win­ners will be an­nounced in Oc­to­ber.

Kil­lian Red­monk and Shane McKenna.

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