Trouble in the glen


File photo | Irish Times | 17071

The Irish gay rights group Glen is being investigated into whether it breached rules on political campaigning and financial management. The charity has appointed an external investigator to examine allegations of bullying made by staff.

The Charities Regulator has told Glen to provide it with financial records, details of credit cards and the report of an independent auditor by the end of this month. One of the issues being examined by the regulator concerns the use of the charity’s resources to support political campaigning.

Glen’s co-chairman Kieran Rose stepped down after it emerged that campaign literature for his Seanad election campaign last year was printed at the charity.

The intervention by the regulator follows a disclosure made by Glen in response to concerns raised by the executive director, Áine Duggan, appointed last October, who raised a number of issues with the board after carrying out a due diligence of the organisation, which works on issues such as sexual health, mental health and education in the LGBT community.

Tying the knot in Clare


Father Bernard Lynch and Billy Desmond | Liam Burke/Press 22 | 17021

A gay priest from Co Clare who was involved in the ‘boat to vote’ campaign in the marriage equality referendum in the Irish Republic in 2015 got married to his long time partner yesterday.

Father Lynch became the first Catholic priest in the world to have a civil partnership in 2006, and the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum allowed the two men to be married.

At the ceremony, a proclamation was read out paying tribute to Fr Lynch “for being a tireless advocate for the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for more than 40 years as an out gay and proud Roman Catholic priest”. 67-year-old Fr Lynch helped people living with HIV and AIDS in New York in the 1980s and has been “a human rights champion” for his extraordinary service and “his courage in the face of tremendous adversity”. Fr Lynch helped lead the first ‘boat to vote’ campaign for the 2015 marriage equality referendum in his role as an advocate for the LGBT community in London.

Gay Activist sends congratulations.

Irish Republic ditches its lifetime ban

The lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men in the Irish Republic has been lifted.

From today (January 16) a man who last had sex with another man more than one year ago will now be allowed to donate, as long as he meets the other blood donor selection criteria.

Any man who has had sex with another man within the last 12 months will still be prohibited from donating.

Irish Republic’s ban to end


Media HQ | 16418ga

The ban in the Irish Republic on gay men donating blood will be finally lifted on January 16 next year. The ban was put in place in Ireland during the 1980s when Aids was a major sexual health risk, especially in the gay community.

Health Minister Simon Harris, pictured, announced he would lift the ban after the Irish Blood Transfusion Service recommended that gay men should be able to donate blood, following a review of scientific research and practices in other countries.

The ban was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales five years ago, and in Northern Ireland the ban was lifted last month.

Man dies in his shed

Graham Egan of Kenilworth Road, Rathmines, Ireland was found unresponsive in a shed behind his home on January 23 last year. His partner, Alan Bigley, told Dublin Coroner’s Court that the couple, who were together 11 years, had dinner the previous evening and sat watching TV. Mr Bigley went to bed shortly after midnight. “Graham said he was going out to the shed to chill out. We use it as a discreet playroom,” he said.

Mr Bigley woke at 4.40am to find his partner was not in bed. He went outside to the shed where he found Mr Egan in an unresponsive state, wearing a gas mask and there was evidence of sex toys. Mr Egan was rushed to St James’s Hospital. On arrival he was not breathing and was in cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 5.39am.

Garda Conor Brady said the man had been found in a concrete structure that appeared to be purpose-built for sexual activity. An autopsy found Mr Egan had inhaled gastric contents following a recent meal. “The mask was used to produce a hypoxic state to produce a heightened sexual response, but if anything goes wrong it can be lethal,” said State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy.


A closer eye will be kept on how trainee priests attending Ireland’s Maynooth seminary spend their time as part of a stricter regime being introduced in the wake of the gay dating app scandal. They will be required to eat their evening meal in the college instead of wherever they choose, and will have to attend evening rosary at 9pm, which has been made compulsory.

A review of “appropriate use of the internet and social media” by the 50 or so trainee priests and their staff will be held.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of ­Dublin withdrew his seminarians from Maynooth following allegations that students were using gay dating app Grindr.

Maynooth’s trustees have been urged to reinstate a young seminarian who was dismissed last May after he allegedly caught two other seminarians in bed together.

Much laying on of hands!


Maynooth College | 16286ga

The Archbishop of Dublin has denied that an alleged gay sub culture at the National Seminary in Ireland is the reason why he’s not sending his trainee priests there.

According to the Irish Independent, three student priests will study at the Irish college in Rome, instead.

It comes after the scandal in May where it was revealed that some seminarians in Maynooth had been using a gay dating app, thought to be Grindr.

Maynooth is understood to hold around sixty seminarians.

A new group called Voices Against Maynooth Abuse has been formed by controversial cleric, Bishop Pat Buckley, who is in a long-term gay civil partnership.

Another Busy Pride Day… and for a change it was dry!


London | Global Citizen | 16244ga


London: One of a number of marching Policemen who proposed to their boyfriends during the March. This one said Yes. We think they will be the first serving policemen to get married in the UK | Metropolitan Police LGBT Network | 16245ga


Merrion Square, Dublin | RTÉ | 16246

Gay Activist sends congratulations to the newly engaged couples – and everyone else who marched and showed solidarity and support for the community.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus has released a cover version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water in aid of those recently attacked at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. You may remember two weeks ago they sang it at the London Vigil for the Orlando Victims. The track is available as a digital­-only release. It can be purchased or streamed on all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal.

Proceeds from the sale of the charity single will be split equally between the Orlando Victims Fund, organised by Equality Florida, and Galop, UK LGBT anti­-violence and abuse charity. Please help these excellent charities care for members of our community.