Launch of OUTLaw Network: a network to connect LGBT+ people and allies working in the Irish legal sector.
24 January 2019
OUTLaw Network was formally launched yesterday evening at an event held at the National Gallery of Ireland. The launch was attended by over 250 members of the Irish legal community, most notably the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Ms Justice Marie Baker, the President of the Law Society of Ireland, Mr Patrick Dorgan, Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society and Micheál P O’Higgins SC, President of the Bar Council. Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly gave a short address.
OUTLaw’s mission is to promote and drive the inclusion of LGBT+ people across the Irish legal community. Its objectives include bringing together LGBT+ colleagues and allies across the Irish legal sector to foster an environment of inclusion, build their professional networks, avail of career and leadership development opportunities and to promote Ireland’s legal profession as a destination of choice for LGBT+ people in Ireland.
The network’s founding committee is currently made up of solicitors from the following Dublin law firms: Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Eversheds Sutherland, Maples, Mason Hayes & Curran, Matheson, McCann FitzGerald, William Fry and EY. A key focus of the network is to broaden participation to include regional and bespoke firms, student barristers and solicitors and members of the in-house legal community.
The network’s committee members are Peter Ryan (Chair), Cathal Daly, Christopher Murnane, Barbara Galvin, Glen Rogers, Gerard James, Aisling Walls, Rebecca Townsend, Maeve Delargy, Stephen Tunstead and Tony Ross.
Addressing the event, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said: “It is fair to say that Ireland has come a long way on LGBT issues since the 1861 legislation which criminalised aspects of male homosexual behaviour. Even in the area of Transgender recognition we have been very progressive. However, those who identify as non-binary are not covered under the Gender Recognition Act and that is probably where the next major change will happen”