Newry Rainbow Community have held their 2018 AGM at Rainbow House in Newry. It's their last event in the premises in Monaghan Street where they’ve been based for the last 3 years.

Chairperson Rory Rafferty began the AGM by welcoming those in attendance and the NRC’s Annual Report was presented, followed by a question and answer session. The AGM was one of great emotion, not least due to the many challenges currently facing the organisation, most importantly funding and the sourcing of new premises. The future of the charity is in jeopardy and all those in attendance reaffirmed their dedication and determination to ensure that the charity does not cease to exist and continues to provide life-saving services to local LGBT citizens in need of assistance.

The Newry Rainbow Community Committee for 2018.
The Newry Rainbow Community Committee for 2018.

After the election process, a new management committee was formed. Rory Rafferty was re-elected as Chair, Caolan Dooley as Vice-Chair, Ritchy Kimmins as Secretary, Karen Rafferty as Treasurer, Mark McLoughlin as Public Relations Officer, Alex Moore as Trans Officer and Roisin Keenan as Women’s Officer. A further 8 people joined the committee.

Speaking after the election of office bearers, new committee member Neal Rush expressed his sincere gratitude to the outgoing committee who did not stand for re-election, for all of their hard work, perseverance and commitment to the organisation over many years, including outgoing Secretary Damian McKevitt and outgoing committee member Pádraig Lynch. These sentiments were echoed by all those in the room.

Additionally, newly re-elected Chairperson Rory Rafferty told those present: “I am looking forward to working along with such a strong committee and am glad that so many of you have decided to put yourselves forward to take on the many challenges we face in both the short and long-term. We have a huge job of work ahead of us and our main objective and focus now is to ensure our city does not lose this vital resource and that our LGBT brothers and sisters always have somewhere where they can call in for advice, support and a listening ear."

Mr Rafferty concluded "I know many of you here have come into knowing this organisation by being service-users of it, and I hope that that service will not come to a tragic end for those who will come after us.”

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