There has been some media comment in recent days in relation to a decision made in 2014 to provide a grant to a resource centre in Galway.
The grant was made from a specific fund established to disburse a large legacy in the Galway area. Donations from the public to local Conferences of the Society of St Vincent de Paul are completely separate from this fund. What is given locally stays local.
To date the fund has supported sixty projects across Galway. Requests were considered for funding from Conferences and Councils within the Society and from organisations and community groups in Galway city and county which aim to respond to the needs of families, individuals and groups who are experiencing poverty and social exclusion.
Many individual LGBT members experience problems such as loneliness, social isolation, exclusion, discrimination, bullying and mental health issues. The grant was made available to help individual members of the LGBT community and their families overcome these difficulties. There is no wider agenda in the decision to support this project. The Society in Galway monitors the grant to ensure that it is used for the purpose for which it is intended.
SVP is one of eighteen voluntary, community and statutory bodies which are supporting the Teach Solais LGBT resource centre and we are represented on the interagency group looking at the needs of the LGBT community in Galway.
We see no conflict between this donation and our stated ethos and background.
All of our members in Galway and across the country make decisions to support people based on need only; we are non-judgemental; the background of people is not relevant.