The GALAs 2011
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of this year’s Galas 2011, in their third year, and thanks to everyone who voted! The award winners were well represented by the LBT (and non-LBT) women of Ireland.
The event last night was introduced by the wonderful Ailbhe Smyth, to kick off the ceremony which has been held annually since 2009 to say to members of the LGBT community: “Thank you, we respect you, and honour you”.
Opening the proceedings was Donna McCaul with a rousing rendition of “Listen” from the Dreamgirls film – she’s a belter! – before the awards were presented by Declan Buckley and Sonya Lennon.
The first award of the evening went to the outgoing President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, who received the Gala Award 2011 for LGBT-Friendly Political Figure of the Year. Take a listen to her acceptance speech here:
The winner of Community Organisation went to Marriage Equality, and Employer of the Year went to IBM. The Business Person of the Year award went to Kerryann Conway of Conway Communications. Volunteer of the Year was the irrepressible Maureen Looney, the brains behind Running Amach.
The award for Journalist/Broadcaster of the Year went to TV3’s Ireland AM. The Online Award went to Suzy Byrne for MamanPoulet.com, a must for every political junkie in need of a fix. Ireland’s LGBT deaf community was honoured with the award for Voluntary Organisation going to Greenbow.
National Event of the Year went to Alternative Miss Ireland, which will be staged for the last time in 2012. An AMI retrospective will be held in March 2013, looking back at pageant’s history from 1987 to 2013. A new addition to the awards, the Regional Event of the Year, went to the Cork Women’s Fun Weekend, one of the longest-running LGBT events in Ireland. Irish Artist/Entertainer of the Year went to Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir.
For the second year running, an award was presented to the International Activist of the Year, sponsored by Front Line, ICCL and Amnesty Ireland. This year, the award was won by Thai activist, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul.
The final award of the evening, The 2011 Person of the Year Award, presented by Tina O’Toole, went to the fabulous (and bauld) Irish author Emma Donohue.
- The list of finalists (winners are in italics):
Mary McAleese, President of Ireland
Proinsias De Rossa, MEP
Dominic Hannigan, TD
Gay Men’s Health Service
Ernst & Young
HSN Services Network
Alternative Miss Ireland
Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week
Voices of Children
Cork Women’s Fun Weekend
Dundalk’s Glória Christmas Concert
Cork Pride Festival
Veda Beaux Reves
Michael Donald Kirby
2011 Person of the Year
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