Bank of Ireland proud to stand with LGBTI+ Customers, Colleagues and Communities in Waterford

  • Donation to ChillOUT will support its work with LGBTI+ young people in the City

21 June 2020 – In response to the recent incidences of homophobic activity in Waterford, including the cutting down and burning of the Pride flag, Bank of Ireland has said it is proud to stand with its LGBTI+ customers, colleagues and members of the community in Waterford and across Ireland.

The Bank has announced a donation of €10,000 to support the work of local group ChillOUT, a project which works with LGBTQ+ young people in Waterford City and across the Southeast.

Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland Group CEO, commented: “If you ever questioned whether Pride was still relevant in Ireland, you have your answer.

“Pride can be a great celebration, but it’s also about recognition, safety and respect. These are things that burning flags and offensive graffiti try to undermine. They won’t succeed.

“We at Bank of Ireland are proud to stand with our LGBTI+ customers, colleagues and community in Waterford and across Ireland. This Pride, we’re making a donation of €10,000 to ChillOUT, a youth project which works with LGBTI+ young people in Waterford City and the Southeast.”

Debbie O’Rourke, Community Youth Worker with ChillOUT LGBTI+ youth project said:

“On the back of the unexpected and unwelcome removal and destruction of Pride flags in Waterford we are overwhelmed by the generous donation offered to the group from Bank of Ireland.

“This donation will go a huge way towards creating opportunities for LGBTI+ that would not have been possible without it. It brings so much happiness and possibility to our work with young people, for whom the last year of lockdown has had an exceptionally negative impact – with isolation and separation from safe spaces and people pushing our members further into difficulty. The demand for our work has never been greater.

“LGBTI+ young people have always been part of Waterford’s vibrant community and they will continue to be supported, celebrated, and protected. We will work together to end homophobia and transphobia. Pride is an essential reminder that the type of thinking that made us hide away in fear of violence will never win.”

Bank of Ireland has an active Inclusion and Diversity Programme, which includes the Bank of Ireland With Pride LGBT+ Network. This Network supports the representation and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally communities within the Bank with the aim of building empowerment, a sense of belonging, and connection. The work of the With Pride Network was recognised internationally in the 2020 OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Awards.