Local tattoo artists from AWOL Tattoos and Piercing helped raise over €3,400 to help save Teach Solais LGBT+ resource centre at a day long tattooing event.
The ‘Big Gay Charity Flash Day’ on May 17 was organised by Dublin based activist tattoo artist Ciaran O’Brien, offering €50 tattoos from a range of designs at AWOL with all proceeds going to Teach Solais.
The day was a smash hit, taking in a whopping €3400.92 to help the struggling resource centre.
Teach Solais is run by Amach! LGBT+ charity as an important community hub in Galway that is used for a wide range of essential health and peer support services.
However the centre is completely reliant on the public to remain open with no permanent funding from the government.
Without the help of the people of Galway Teach Solais could be forced to close its doors in November due to a lack of funding.
A crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to ‘Save Our Teach Solais‘ has so far raised over €7,000 out of a target of €10,000.
In a response to the amazing outcome of the day Teach Solais said “We honestly can’t put in to words how amazing this is.”
“Our whole community is so thankful. This was such an amazing day that all of us here at the centre will cherish.”
“I would like to give one last shout out to Ciaran, if it wasn’t for Ciaran this amazing day would never have happened. You have helped us keep our vital safe space for the LGBT+ community open.”
Ciaran O’Brien posted on Instagram “thank you to each and every person who came out to be tattooed!
“I know we had to turn a huge amount away and people traveled from very far! But we still managed to raise €3400! Which is only the beginning! I can’t wait for bigger gay flash day 2.0 convention style”
He asked everyone who is considering donating their time or money, or considering a fundraiser of their own to “consider the smaller organisations before donating to bigger government funded ones, while doing marathons, skydive fundraisers etc.”
Some of the designs inked by the Dublin based tattoo artist on the day included Galway classics like the Claddagh ring.
AWOL Tattoos and Piercing thanked everyone who took part for their patience and understanding while the busy artists tried to get to as many people as possible.
“So sorry to everyone we couldn’t get to! We never expected such an AMAZING response, there was a queue out the door from 11 and we managed to tattoo over 50 people!” the tattoo parlour said on Facebook.