Mullingar Pride committee (from left) Mark Reynolds, Ollie Kennedy, Daniel Boyne, Jane o’reilly and Ruth Illingworth.

Insurance costs could force cancellation of Mullingar Pride

Mullingar's first Pride festival may not be able to go ahead this summer due to spiralling insurance costs.

The organisers of Mullingar Pride have launched an online fundraiser in a bid to cover the insurance costs of the festival, which is due to take place in July. Among the events planned are Mullingar's first Pride parade and a concert in Belvedere House and Gardens.

If the fundraiser fails to reach its target of €5,000, it's likely that the event will have to be cancelled. Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, the chairman of the organising committee Daniel Boyne says that when the committee first looked into the cost of insuring the event late last year they were quoted in the region of €2,000, but the most recent quotes they have received have been double that.

“We were shocked. We are quite short of the money needed to pay the insurance. If we pay the insurance for the concert and the parade [now] it will cripple the event as we won't be able to bring performers or anything like that.”

Mr Boyne said that the uncertainty surrounding securing insurance for the event has had a knock on effect when it comes to the overall preparations.

“Trying to get the money for insurance has affected our marketing. We don't have posters up yet because posters are extortionately expensive. We are wondering where to spend the money. We have to sell tickets for theatre night, for the concert and we need to have the parade as well. The insurance has sidelined us an awful lot.

“Unfortunately no marketing means people don't really know about the event. Social media can only do so much. Our followers are good, we have about 800 on Instagram but we need a lot more to get the word out there.”

With the event a little over six weeks ago, Mr Boyne says that the next three weeks are crucial. If the fundraiser doesn't reach its target, Mullingar's first Pride festival won't be going ahead this year.

He says that after months of organising, the voluntary committee is disheartened that their efforts may have been in vain, particularly, because the main aim of organising the event was that all profits would go towards establishing a support group for local members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“There are a lot of young people and older people struggling at the moment. They would like to have meetings where they could connect and find support. I don't know how these meetings are going to happen in the town if the event doesn't go ahead.

“We are at a bit of a crossroads and are a bit deflated over it. We still have a drive within us though and are still hoping that people will support us and donate even a tenner or fiver to our gofundme,” Mr Boyne said.

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