The Pride flag is set to fly over Leinster House for the first time after TDs, party members and staff today meet as part of a new LGBT+ support group. Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl will host a coffee this morning for Oireachtas members, their staff, and others in the Leinster House complex as part of a first meeting to establish the group.
The Irish Examiner also understands that the Pride flag will be flown this week over the grounds of the parliament building, as part of events nationwide to mark Pride month. The developments come after Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer proposed establishing an Oireachtas LGBT+ group. It is intended that its members, made up of both elected and support staff, will help organise seminars, social events and lectures and make contact with such groups in other parliaments.
Mr Buttimer requested that the group be set up to provide a supportive space for LGBT+ members and staff in Leinster House to discuss issues of importance to them. The Cork South Central election candidate is also a member of the Global Equality Caucus, an international network of parliamentarians aiming to tackle discrimination against LGBT+ people.
One suggestion is that the new Leinster House forum could consider supports for those accessing health services such as PrEP, a drug for people who may be at risk of getting HIV.
The informal meeting being hosted by Mr Ó Fearghaíl will look at how the project can be brought forward over the coming weeks.
The forum is backed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, and Senator David Norris.
It has also been confirmed that the Pride flag will be flown over Leinster House for the first time this Saturday to coincide with events taking place around the country, including the Dublin parade on Saturday, which is the centrepiece of the Pride festival.