To chorus calls decrying cronyism and state-sponsored nepotism, Irish Times journalist Una Mullaly was announced by the then Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to be appointed as Chair of the LGBT National Youth Strategy Committee in December 2016.

A new role, reporting over three years, to help steer the state’s policy towards young members of the LGBT community, the group was additionally charged with doling out grants to various NGOs providing youth services. 

Almost four years on and the committee, chaired by Mullally, hands in its final set of recommendations to inform policy, and has had many of its recommendations already implemented. Under Freedom of Information requests we examine the cost of the strategy to the national coffers. 

From figures forwarded to us by the Department of Children, we can reveal that the accumulated cost of the group to the taxpayer is just over 840,000 in miscellaneous costs and grants paid out to selected LGBT charities and consultancy firms. Listed among the expenses is a payment of 13,467 paid to Mullally for her work chairing the committee.

YearCost of Strategy
2017€233,395
2018€101, 576
2019€227,360
2020€281,850

While large chunks of funds were transferred to specific LGBT related youth charities, a surprisingly large amount was given to various consultancy firms for their work preparing the strategy, with the auditing and strategy firm Mazars chief among them. Below is a breakdown of some of the main beneficiaries from the grants earmarked for various LGBT groups, and additional PR and consultancy firms who helped produce the report.




Mazars 
Total Funds Received (2017-2020)
€106,615
Penhouse€20,341
BelongTo€82,973
TENI€30,112
Foroige€75,974
The Sexual Health Centre€30,239
Macra na Feirme€15,200
SpuntOut.ie€11,924
LGBT Ireland€21,507
Youth Work Ireland €50,623
Catapult Events€32,196
NUIG€19,680

It should be pointed out that for many of the LGBT organisations listed above, the grants received from the strategy is merely a very small component of their total income stream, with certain charities listing millions in state and private sector revenue per annum, according to their financial records provided to the Charity Commision. 

Alongside Mullaly on the committee was Catherine Cross, Education and Family Support Officer for the transgender pressure group TENI Ireland, and a receipient of grant money. 

Cross in her work for transgender activism has also helped compile reports for the Irish National Teachers Organisation on how to introduce children to trans issues in the classroom, as well as a study on challenging gender norms in primary schools for Educate Together.

Further down the line of committee members we can see various Government departments, from TUSLA to the Department of Education and Health, Justice and Children represented rubbing shoulders with various CEOs and activists from the LGBT lobby. 

Also present on the committee was the CEO of the LGBT pressure group BelongTo, Moninne Griffith, a former director of the Marriage Equality Campaign, and one which Mullally was very prominent in. Taking fire from anti-trans feminist groups (TERFs) for their work in schools, BelongTo registered an income stream of just over 1.3 million in 2019 with further corporate funding being announced this February from Google to challenge anti-LGBT prejudices in Irish classrooms.

Interestingly enough, the name of Síona Cahill, former President of the Union of Students of Ireland and Irish Independent journalist, but presently with the charity ShoutOut, cropped up as part of the committee. For those with long memories Cahill was embroiled as part of an undercover investigation by this publication into covert assistance provided to far-left organisations, and which resulted in the Vice President of her former organisation the USI resigning

According to accounts obtained through Freedom of Information, ShoutOut did receive the not entirely insignificant sum of €9,960 for various projects with their website. Rather interestingly, they listed a variety of corporate clients from AIB to DoneDeal who they provide workshops to on making workplaces more gay and trans friendly.

Broken up into research, evaluation, and consultation stages, the strategy lists 59 specific actions to be fulfilled by the state on LGBT youth affairs. Among the more interesting of recommendations are as follows:

  •  A review and implementation of new hate crime and speech laws to be conducted by the Department of Justice
  •  Examining whether equality law is sufficient enough to prevent discrimination against the LGBT community and potentially seek to augment it. 
  • A review by the Departments of Health and Justice into specific sections of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, dealing with non-traditional families around the area of donor-assisted reproduction.
  • A liberalisation to the Gender Relations Act to help under 18s transition quicker and provisions to recognise non-binary individuals under the law.
  • Reviewing the feasibility of gender neutral toilets in Irish schools with consultation work to be included in all new designs for public works to have gender neutral facilities.
  • Improvements in reducing the costs of and helping with the availability of PrEP and PEP medication. Both drugs are used to prevent the spread of HIV despite sexual exposure to an infected individual, often replacing the need for condoms to some.
  • The maintenance and archiving of materials relevant to LGBT history in Ireland through the Irish Queer Archive.

In addition, this strategy created various interdepartmental working groups in order to move forward on LGBT youth issues, as well as mentioning that the continued religious patronage of the majority of Irish schools was viewed as a hindrance on advancing certain issues.

Presently the Department of Children has passed from Zappone to yet another LGBT activist Roderic O’Gorman, who has begun chairing strategy meetings with Mullally’s committee. 

This is not the first time that an Irish journalist has embroiled themselves into the mire of controversial LGBT lobbying. Seamus Dooley, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, was a board member of the infamous GLEN organisation before its disbanding under a cloud of controversy with claims of financial mismanagement and bullying. Incidentally the chairperson for GLEN, Margot Slattery (currently chief diversity officer for the multinational Sodexo), has reappeared this time as on a government committee on fighting racism along with other left wing activists.

While Mullaly has accrued a negative reputation over the years from her activism, famously clashing swords with John Waters, looking under the hood of this committee we see the sheer extent to which the policy making apparatus of the state has been hijacked by the LGBT lobby. 

Our LGBT activist caste came of age with the Marriage Referendum having been cultivated for decades on the political exterior of Irish life but now exists as an interwoven and networked cabal operating at the intersection of the state and corporate world greedily pursuing its agenda. 

If the political history of this state was marked by the infamous avarice of brown envelope politics in the 20th century perhaps our era will be defined by our left wing activist caste. 

Mullally strategy committee isn’t the most costly of state boards to ever have existed, however it raises questions as to how far the state has been compromised by LGBT militants. Questions which will likely go unanswered by the mainstream press.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

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