Omagh Pride a crucial platform for LGBTQ people in rural communities west of the Bann, says Donnelly, ahead of event

Alliance Omagh Councillor Stephen Donnelly has commended the organisers of Omagh Pride for their hard work and dedication in putting it together, and has reasserted the importance of the event for LGBTQ+ people living in rural communities west of the Bann, ahead of the event tomorrow (17 June). 

Stephen Donnelly LGBT Omagh

He has also argued however that there is still much more progress to make in improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the region and across NI.


“Everyone deserves to feel recognised, respected, and included where they live,” said Cllr Donnelly.


“Given the rurality of West Tyrone, very often those who would benefit from access to advocacy groups and other forms of support feel cut off, which can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness. Omagh Pride provides a crucial platform for LGBTQ+ people in rural communities here, as well as a welcoming space for those who need it most to express themselves and celebrate who they are.


But it is also an occasion to register frustration at the slow pace of progress on matters which remain unresolved, such as the introduction of inclusive relationship and sex education, and a robust and well-resourced sexual orientation strategy. Clearly, there is much more work to be done.
“As a Councillor in Omagh I have personally advocated within Council for much more extensive consultation with marginalised groups within the policy-making process, to ensure voices that may have been ignored in the past are heard.
“I have also pushed the PSNI locally to increase their efforts in pursuit of those responsible for anti-LGBTQ+ harassment, intimidation and violence, particularly violence against transgender people, which far too often goes under-reported.
“Omagh Pride is a wonderful opportunity for LGBTQ+ residents from our small towns and rural areas across Tyrone to witness the true spirit of our community; open, welcoming, and passionate about equality and diversity. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the celebrations, and I’d invite anyone who may be interested to call down on Saturday (17 June) and join the festivities.”