Rainbow flag flies proudly in Wicklow
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.