Survey shows urgent need for supports for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community

Survey shows urgent need for supports for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community

Survey shows urgent need for supports for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community

80% of respondents to an online survey aimed at members of the LGBTQ+ community in Clare said they would like to have more connection with other LGBTQ+ people. Over half of all respondents did not feel sufficiently connected and supported in their community.

The survey, which was conducted during March as part of a short-term project called LGBTQ+ Clare, highlights an urgent need for supports and services for the LGBTQ+ community in the county.

More than 70% of respondents had faced discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many respondents felt there was a lack of LGBTQ+ focused mental health supports in the county and that they would benefit from improved mental health services. More than 30% of respondents did not feel their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are understood when they engage with services in Clare.

Some also called for community specific sexual health clinics and better access to gender-affirming hormones.

Many respondents said they would benefit from an LGBTQ+ cafe, pub or community space in order to meet others who identify in a similar way. Others felt that businesses in Clare could openly show their support for the community by placing flags, stickers, etc. on their premises.

The survey results point to several key issues that need to be addressed:
• Education concerning sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and other spaces.
• Improved visibility and support from the wider community.
• Access to healthcare, particularly sexual orientation and gender identity focused mental health supports.
• The formation of an LGBTQ+ social/peer group in Clare.
• The creation of a confidential helpline that those struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity can reach out to.

Overall, there is evidently a strong desire to form a social group, preferably a meet-and-greet to improve inclusivity and visibility in the Clare area. There is a lack of gender-neutral spaces for trans and non-binary individuals such as locker rooms and bathrooms.

The survey results point to a lack of education both in schools and other spaces on issues pertaining both to sexual orientation and gender identity.

To conclude, the LGBTQ+ community in Clare would greatly benefit from better access to healthcare and mental health supports. Many members of this community report a lack of connection within their community and many are still facing some form of discrimination here in Clare. There are steps which can be taken in order to improve the experience of this community, as outlined above.

More than 50 people from across Clare took part in the survey.

LGBTQ+ Clare is a short-term project run jointly by Clare PPN, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company and Rape Crisis Midwest, and supported by The Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council.

LGBTQ+ Clare is currently planning its next steps. If you would like to be part of the organising group or you would like some more information, please get in touch by emailing: lgbtq.clare@gmail.com

Notes from Local Climate Conversation, 15th March

Notes from Local Climate Conversation, 15th March

Notes from Local Climate Conversation

Clare PPN was chosen by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) to host an online Local Climate Conversation on 15th March. These conversations have been taking place across Ireland as part of the National Dialogue on Climate Action, to inform the development of the Government’s 2021 Climate Action Plan and also the roll-out of the Climate Action Fund.

Following this conversation our notes were submitted to the DECC. You can read the notes from the Clare PPN-hosted conversation here:
http://clareppn.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ClarePPN_Climate_Conversation_15March2021.pdf

Online survey aims to bring out the rainbow for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community

Online survey aims to bring out the rainbow for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community

Photo by Ted Sullivan (Creative Commons CC x 2.0)

 

Online survey aims to bring out the rainbow for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community


What would bring out the rainbow for LGBTQ+ people in Clare? What services and supports could make this community more visible, more connected and improve their quality of life? These are among the questions asked in an online survey launched today by LGBTQ+ Clare, a new project to establish the needs of this community in the Banner County. 

LGBTQ+ Clare would like to hear from LGBTQ+ people about how connected they are to other LGBTQ+ people in Clare, whether they feel their identity and/or gender are understood and respected, or whether they experience discrimination. 

The county-wide survey is being launched by LGBTQ+ Clare, a short-term project run jointly by Clare Public Participation Network, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company and Rape Crisis Midwest, and supported by The Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council. 

The survey will be available until the closing date of March 31st, 2021 at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBTQ_Clare

The survey results will help to assess what services and supports would improve local engagement and community spirit within the LGBTQ+ community in the Clare area. The organisations involved also hope to use the survey results to organise activities and opportunities including social meet-ups, political participation, campaigns and possibly a Pride event in Clare.

“The aim is to make the supports and services that are available for LGBTQ+ people in other parts of the country available to you in Clare, whether you’re in Killaloe, Kilfenora or Carrigaholt,” said Meabh Sexton of LGBTQ+ Clare. 

“Considering the pandemic, now more than ever it is important to have these local services. We don’t want members of the community traveling to other counties to avail of services that could be provided here in Clare and we need people to engage and reach out within the LGTBQ+ community.”

Njabulo of LGBTQ+ Clare added: “This is Clare reborn, we are ensuring our visibility and taking up space in society with pride. For so long, we have been invisible. We really encourage members of the LGBTQ+ community in Clare to take this survey. This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard.”

“We know there are LGBTQ+ people in Clare of all ages, we know disability activists who are LGBTQ+ and we know too that there are LGBTQ people of migrant, Traveller and Roma backgrounds in Clare and we want to make sure that we hear every voice and view possible. Hopefully this survey can help us set up ways to communicate and build a supportive LGBTQ+ community across these differences.” 

The survey is anonymous and confidential, although the findings may be published and used to inform the work of the organisations involved. No one will be identifiable from any report or publication arising from the survey.

The survey will be available until the closing date of March 31st, 2021 at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBTQ_Clare

 

Emergency motion on CETA passed unanimously by Clare County Council

Emergency motion on CETA passed unanimously by Clare County Council

Clare PPN press release
Tuesday, 9th February, 2021

Emergency motion on CETA passed unanimously by Clare County Council


Motion brought on behalf of Clare PPN calls for full democratic debate and Oireachtas scrutiny of EU-Canada trade deal

Clare County Council has unanimously passed an emergency motion that calls on the Irish Government “to allow a full, open and democratic debate, including pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Oireachtas Committee, ahead of the Dáil vote on ratification of CETA.”

Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) had written to Councillors last Thursday, asking them to bring the motion, on foot of a request by a majority of member groups in Clare PPN’s Environmental College, who were very concerned at the lack of public debate and political scrutiny of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), a trade deal between the EU and Canada.

Proposing the motion at Monday’s (8th February) Council meeting, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) thanked Clare PPN for bringing the motion to her. She warned that the element of CETA due to be voted on by the Dáil, including the Investor Court System (ICS), allows multinational companies to “go straight to special tribunals, bypassing our court system and gives rights to corporations to sue national governments for compensation for loss of expected future profits.”

Seconding the motion, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) said that while he feels trade agreements are, “by and large, positive things, what does concern me here is the lack of public debate, legislative scrutiny and very low levels of understanding around the ratification of CETA and specifically the merits if any of the Investor Court System for Ireland. Will the ratification of CETA tie our hands with regard to introducing progressive social and environmental legislation?”

Cllr Murphy pointed out that most of CETA has been in place since 2017, and that the final element, including ICS, is “not necessary here in Ireland and will not deliver one iota of benefit for the country.”

Reacting to the passing of the motion, Theresa O’Donoghue, Co-ordinator of Clare Environmental Network, a PPN member group, said: “Members of Clare PPN have serious concerns about the lack of public and political debate and scrutiny of CETA. An issue such as this, that will have far-reaching consequences for future generations, must be properly discussed and publicly debated. We are very happy that our County Councillors in Clare respect that and we thank them for standing up for that principle.”

“Clare PPN member organisations are particularly troubled by the Investor Court System (ICS) element of CETA and the ‘regulatory chill’ effect it would have on policymaking on a wide range of issues, including the environment, public health, economic and human rights. No party has made any convincing case for why we need investor courts.”

Several other local authorities have passed similar motions relating to CETA in recent days, including Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and South Dublin councils.

The motion in Clare was signed by 16 members of Clare County Council: Donna McGettigan (proposer), Cillian Murphy (seconder), PJ Kelly, Ann Norton, Pat O’Gorman, Mark Nestor, Tony O’Brien, Michael Begley, PJ Ryan, Alan O’Callaghan, Pat Hayes, Ian Lynch, Clare Colleran-Molloy, Shane Talty, Bill Chambers and Susan Crawford.

Three other Councillors, Johnny Flynn, Joe Garrihy and Joe Killeen also spoke in favour of the motion. Nobody opposed the motion.

ENDS

Notes for editors:
Clare PPN is a network of more than 300 community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. It exists to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s decision making structures. It is funded jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council but is autonomous and its activities are directed by its members through an elected secretariat.

Clare PPN’s website is www.clareppn.ie and they are on Twitter @clare_ppn and https://facebook.com/clareppn/