Statement from Irish LGBT Organisations on Orlando Tragedy

13 June 2016

As reports continue to come in about the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Ireland’s three National LGBT Organisations BeLonG To, GLEN and TENI made the following statement: “We are all in shock at the horror unfolding at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Speaking on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Ireland, our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the survivors and friends, families and loved ones of those who died.

The gay club, the beating heart of many LGBT+ people's social lives, is a sanctuary for LGBT people all over the world. For generations, many LGBT people fleeing rejection, oppression and abuse have found the gay club or bar to be a refuge where they can feel safe, where they can be themselves without worrying about the repercussion they may experience in the home, in school or in the streets.

As well as the unspeakably tragic loss of 50 of our family, that very sanctuary came under attack on Sunday morning. But we are proud. The LGBT+ community is no stranger to violent attacks and we will, as we have had to do before, harness the aftermath, the grieving, the anger, into something positive that has made the next generation's lives better. It's understandable to feel a mixture of emotions after an event as violent as this, but let's not be afraid.

View the attachment below to read the full statement.