Funding gap could close LGBT helpline, warns Limerick TD

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Funding gap could close LGBT helpline, warns Limerick TD

Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins has warned of funding issues for a helpline supporting LGBT people

FUNDING issues could spell the end of a helpline supporting LGBT people across Ireland, local Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins has warned.

Money necessary to allow this helpline to continue looks set to dry up within five days from now, and Mr Collins has called for this cashflow to continue.

Based in Dublin, the annual budget of the LGBT helpline is around €132,000.

Of this, €88,000 comes from Pobal with the balance from the HSE.

Mr Collins says if just €22,000 is allocated to the helpline, it will allow it breathing space to continue operating beyond next week and potentially apply for additional funding.

Mr Collins wants the government to set aside this sum to save the helpline, which supports members of the gay, lesbian and transgender community across Ireland.

He said: “The Government needs to make this a reality. The LGBT Helpline has been undertaking stellar work for many years. It has provided an invaluable service to the LGBT community and has worked to promote inclusion.”

"It has recently come to my attention that the Helpline is facing closure due to problems it is experiencing in securing funding. This is a deeply unfortunate situation and I believe the Government needs to step in to allow the service to continue to operate in the months ahead.”

Mr Collins added: “The LGBT Helpline is an important service and every effort should be made to allow it to continue operating. The Government needs to do the decent thing and intervene in this situation.”

The LGBT helpline operates between Monday and Wednesday from 6.30pm to 9pm, Thursdays until 10pm, and Fridays from 4pm until 9pm.

At weekends, it operates between 4pm and 6pm.

It can be contacted at 1890 929 539 for more.