SVP stands down committee after LGBT centre allocation

Catholic Bishop of Galway had objected to funding for ‘morally wrong behaviour’

The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) has stood down a Galway fund committee that last year allocated €45,000 to a resource centre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Galway.

The move follows a disagreement over governance arrangements between the SVP at national and local level.

Catholic Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan last year objected to the allocation, saying that homosexual activity was "morally wrong behaviour" and funding could not be put at the service of what was believed to be morally incorrect.

The bishop said that his problem with the allocation was “the moral judgment involved”, and that the reputation of the SVP “has been put in question by this grant”.


Receives support

The centre in question, Amach! LGBT Galway, receives support from

Galway County Council

, Galway City Partnership, Gort Resource Centre,

Loughrea Family Resource Centre

, Galway & Roscommon ETB, West Training & Development and Youth Work



The fund committee had administered a 2007 legacy of the late Maureen O’Connell, who left her pub on Eyre Square in Galway city to the SVP for spending on local projects.

A spokesman for the SVP told The Irish Times that a Maureen O’Connell Fund grant to Amach! had been approved by its national management council in May last year.

Last year, an SVP spokesman said the organisation had no formal association with the Catholic church or bishops but that “relationships at a local level were very strong”.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times