Lisa Daly, the Chairperson of Limerick Pride, won Volunteer of the Year at this year’s 10th annual GALAS awards.
Limerick’s LGBTQ+ community shined at this year’s GALAs award show, held in the Round Room at the Mansion House in Dublin. Organised by the National LGBT Federation (NXF) and Gay Community News (GCN), the ceremony platforms organisations and ordinary people championing queer rights across Ireland. Among those from the Treaty County shortlisted for various awards, Limerick Pride Chairperson Lisa Daly was crowned Volunteer of the Year on the night.
Daly took to the stage to receive the award, encouraged by a standing ovation of the hundreds in attendance. She was welcomed to the podium by hosts Panti Bliss and Lisa Connell, where the passionate volunteer made an impromptu but impactful speech. Speaking to Limerick Voice about the experience, she described feeling “honoured” to have won, adding that she felt “flattered” by the number of people who nominated her.
Daly said: “To have won, it honestly means so much to me. I have been so grateful for the support shown towards me over the years. Since (the win) was announced, I have been blown away by the overwhelming amount of beautiful and touching messages from people from all over, of all ages.
“I feel very privileged to be a part of representing the community of Limerick and to bring this award back. For me, this award is for all of us. For all of us who work tirelessly and endlessly in trying to help make movements and positive changes happen for this generation and the next.”
This week marks Lisa Daly’s ten-year tenure with Limerick Pride after she was elected to the committee by the community. She continued by saying that the whole GALAS experience was “absolutely amazing”, describing the following days as a “pinch-me moment”.
She added: “I would like to give a special mention to my younger sister Gemma who passed away over two years before I joined Limerick Pride. Without her belief and the words that she said to me, I probably would never have taken this path and had this incredible journey. Believe me when I say this award means so much to me and will be treasured!”
Dr El Reid Buckley was shortlisted for LGBTQ+ Person of the Year, as well as for LGBTQ+ Event of the Year, for their role in organising Dyke Nite Limerick, alongside Neev Kennedy and DJ Egg.
In a conversation with Limerick Voice on the night, Dr Buckley said: “it feels mad to have been shortlisted, and it’s a real honour to be nominated, particularly with Dyke Night. What we create is a safe space for people to be themselves, to love one another, to be joyful and those spaces are quite infrequent currently. I’m just delighted to be partying with my friends and to be able to share this with them.”
Other Limerick people shortlisted for awards were Elysha Folan (Volunteer of the Year), Gearóid Folan (Young Trailblazer Award) and Sarsfield Rugby Team (LGBTQ+ Sports Award).