CITY TRIBUNE

Where’s the non Soc Dem pride in Bród committee?

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

The committee of Galway Pride, a community organisation for the local LGBT+ population, has a distinct Social Democrats look about it.

Its PRO, Sharon Nolan, was a Soc Dem candidate in City Central in the 2019 local election and narrowly missed out on a seat.

The Chair of the committee is Owen Hanley, the party’s sole city councillor in Galway, who represents City East.

Susan McGrady, an ordinary committee member, was a foot soldier of the Purple party in the last local elections, and ‘campaign manager’ for the Soc Dems. She also wants a seat on the party’s national executive policy-making body.

Treasurer, Rob Partridge, has canvassed for the Soc Dems, and has tallied votes with the Soc Dem team at election counts, as well as being linked with a possible run in the Loughrea electoral area.

Disabilities Officer, Cúán Keane, from Connemara, canvassed for Mister Soc Dems in Galway, Niall Ó Tuathail in last February’s General Election; as did Fundraising Officer, David Creaven, who also appears with the Soc Dem teams at count centres.

That’s six members of the Coiste Bród na Gaillimhe – or Galway Pride Committee 2021 – who have, to put it mildly, strong inclinations towards the Social Democrats. And the handful of other committee members may very well be connected to the Soc Dems, too.

All that’s missing is to make LGBT ally, and Soc Dem cult figure in Galway, Ó Tuathail, an honorary member!

What does this tell us about the Pride committee and about political activists and LGBT+ community in general?

Maybe there are no LGBT+ political activists in the other parties, although that seems very unlikely. And while the Soc Dems’ policies are perhaps more in tune with the LGBT+ community’s needs, the other larger parties are hardly silent on LGBT+ issues.

So why then are there mostly Soc Dem members on the committee? Maybe it’s just coincidence. Or could it be that, when local LGBT+ people of non Soc Dem persuasion – they do exist outside the committee apparently! – look at Galway Pride, they see it as a sort of sub-committee of the Galway West and Galway East branches of the Soc Dem party, rather than a fully independent organisation, open to hearing alternative political views on LGBT+ issues?

In fairness, there are some GAA club committees that are basically just an extension of the local Fianna Fáil Cumann. But for an organisation like Galway Pride, which prides itself on representing diversity and difference, its committee is remarkably similar.

(Photo: Owen Hanley, the Chair of Coiste Bród na Gaillimhe – Galway Pride Committee 2021. He’s one of six on the Bród committee who have connections with the Social Democrats).

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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