“We’re The Only LGBT+ Centre In The West”

The LGBT+ Gig Society at NUIG is the centre hub in Galway City for this community to get together.

Society member Maeve said, “we run information nights on various topics, movie nights, trans week, queer week and sexual health awareness. This is a vital resource for us in Galway City and beyond, it’s sad people cannot see our potential.”

Along with Maeve, Oisin Moore is the co-auditor who is responsible for “all the background stuff like the running of events and overlooking operations, it’s a safe place for people to go and be themselves, unlike their own homes and towns, especially somewhere to share their own personal journeys which is really important.”

The only centre of its kind in the West, Teach Solais is currently under serious threat of permanent closure unless it receives much needed funding.

Projects such as their new book, called The Queer Book, are attempting to gain some money and awareness for the centre. All proceeds are going to Teach Solais in the hope of keeping the resource centre open. On the launch night they made over
€400.

The resource centre, which only opened in 2017, is a safe place to go for many in this community because they get the opportunity to be themselves in a safe environment.

There are a variety of activities available for the visitor to encourage well-being, including yoga and meditation. The centre is open on Saturdays from 2-4pm.

On any given weekend, the centre can experience crowds of 20-30 people. The visitors are happy to travel up to 3 hours to get there.

Director Cameron Keighron says, “We have developed a well-being hub completely free of alcohol and drugs that promotes a sense of belonging and safety.”

“The space is there to provide a welcoming, safe environment to all our community. This is often the only place that members of our LGBT+ community have to go to be them-selves and to feel accepted and loved.”

The future is looking bleak for Teach Solais if funding is not sorted soon. ”We recently received HSE funding of €1,000 which we are grateful for, but it’s not nearly enough in that we’d need at least 2 full-time employees to keep the place going,” Cameron says.

“As a result, we would ultimately lose the sense of community and safe space that LGBT+ people in the West of Ireland need. We are a vital referral and information service and we would have people at a loss if we were not there. We would be losing one of the most important LGBT+ services in an already under-resourced area and ultimately our community would be worse off. “

If immediate action is not taken by the government, Teach Solais will be no more. Keighron is pleading with the government to help them out saying, “we are rallying support Friday 29th with an Open Public meeting taking place at 7:30pm, all the details are on our Facebook page, all support will be welcomed.”

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