To mark the end of Northern Ireland LGBT Awareness Week 2015, The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s largest support organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people, and their families has announced that entrepreneur, former Lord Mayor of Belfast and Assembly member, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, will be the first Northern Ireland laureate of the Tolerantia Award.
Speaking on the announcement of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as the first Northern Ireland recipient of the Tolerantia Award, John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said: ‘We are delighted that Máirtín has accepted our nomination to be the first Tolerantia Award laureate for Northern Ireland. There are so many individuals who have made incredible contributions to the growing acceptance of our community in Northern Ireland and we look forward to all of these individuals being recognised at the awards in years to come.
‘For our first nomination we looked at those people who had most effectively engaged with our community in the past year, those who had been advocates for the interests of our community and those who could assist us in bringing the prestigious Tolerantia Awards ceremony to Northern Ireland. We determined that Máirtín overwhelmingly met these criteria. As a former Lord Mayor of Belfast and a current Assembly member, Máirtín has been a constant presence at LGBT community events and has ensured that LGBT people are at the heart of Belfast; no longer pushed to the sidelines. He knows our community and knows our needs and has been a fierce advocate for and staunch supporter of LGBT rights. Máirtín is also an incredibly successful entrepreneur who understands the vital role of international engagement in making Belfast a modern, diverse and outward-looking city where all are welcome and respected.
‘As such, we can think of no better person to represent Belfast to our partners across Europe.’
Speaking on his nomination, Máirtin Ó Muilleoir MLA said: ‘I am deeply moved to have been nominated for this high honour and I am resolved to continue contributing in whatever way I can to secure respect and full civil rights for the proud and inspirational LGBT community which is building a better Belfast for all of us.”
Notes to Editors:
The Rainbow Project is a member of the Berlin Alliance against Homophobia and Transphobia, a collective association of projects which actively fight homophobia, transphobia and hate-based violence in Europe.
Current members of the Berlin Alliance include MANEO of Germany, SOS Homophobie of France and Kampania Przeciw Homofobii of Poland and now, The Rainbow Project of Northern Ireland.
Since 2006, members of the Berlin Alliance have each nominated a laureate to receive the Tolerantia Award in recognition of their contribution to the societal inclusion of LGB&T people and their stance against hate-based violence.
The Tolerantia Awards ceremony is held annually and moves around the countries of the Berlin Alliance members. The 10th Annual Tolerantia Awards will be held in Berlin on 12th October. Organisers expect around 550 guests to attend including representatives of the Berlin and German governments, politicians and celebrities. Invitations will also be extended to the Ambassadors of France, Poland, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
For more information:
Please see the website of the Tolerantia Award: http://tolerantia-award.eu/the-tolerantia-award/