The National Gay and Lesbian Federation (NXF) and Gay Community News (GCN) staged its biggest and most successful Gay and Lesbian Awards (GALAS) to date on Saturday night in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
A record audience at the Shelbourne Hotel gathered to honour all those who are committed to advancing equality and social acceptance for LGBT people.
“It is a privilege to pay tribute to those whose vision, time, commitment and energy is making LGBT life journeys better now and in the future. It is going to take a gargantuan human effort to build a culture in Ireland where diversity and difference is really celebrated and where people can be their true selves in life. The GALAS acknowledges those who are the providing the building blocks for that culture,” said Olivia McEvoy, chair of the NXF.
Award winners on the night included Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times, who picked up the award for Journalist of the Year, while the Political Figure Of The Year award was given to Senator Averil Power, who has been a strong and consistent champion of LGBT rights.
The coveted Entertainer of the Year accolade, which was voted by the public, was awarded to veteran Dublin drag queen Davina Devine, while the Irish Prison Service won the GALA for Employer Of The Year.
“The Irish Prison Service is leading the way in the public service when it comes to supporting its LGBT staff,” added McEvoy. “It has taken very real and concrete steps to demonstrate its commitment to equality by enthusiastically embracing a staff LGBT network and signing up to the GLEN Diversity Champions Project. We would urge all employers to follow the very positive example set by The Irish Prison Service in this area.”
The awards ceremony was hosted by RTE’s Aengus Mac Grianna and 2FMs Ruth Scott.