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Belong To – LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland Statement in Response to the Cass Review 

We all want a healthcare service that centres the safety and wellbeing of young people – no matter what we look like or how we identify.

But for trans young people and their families, accessing healthcare is like knocking on a closed door, as here in Ireland, we currently have no healthcare service at all for young trans people.

This needs to be urgently rectified to allow young people and their families access to vital care, supports and information to help them make decisions about what is best for them.

Currently, trans young people and their families cannot get the information, supports and referral pathways they need to understand whether accessing gender-affirming care is the right option for them or not.

When concerns were raised about Tavistock in the UK, the NHS commissioned an independent review – the Cass Review, published 10 April 2024. That review identifies some failings and many opportunities for learning.

In Ireland, we have an opportunity to learn from the UK’s Cass Review, to learn from international best practice guidelines, and to create a safe model of healthcare for trans young people in Ireland.

Belong To will conduct an analysis of the Cass Review to better inform our understanding of care for trans young people.

This learning can help us to build a model of care in Ireland that meets the needs of trans people of all ages. Such a model would holistically attend to trans people’s physical, mental and social health needs and wellbeing, while respectfully affirming their gender identity. It would provide wraparound healthcare and supports for trans people and their families, in their local communities. Most importantly, it would make young trans people happier and safer.

We know from our own research that lots of people in Ireland don’t actually know any trans people personally. They’ve never had to think about trans healthcare or the discrimination that trans people might face in their daily lives. So they need space to inform themselves and reflect on these issues, and realise that trans people aren’t this controversial group at the centre of a really overblown debate – they’re just regular people – they could be their neighbour or their colleague’s kid.

There are trans young people across Ireland and their families who are tuning into relentless public debates about their lives. We need to remember the impact this can have on their mental health and wellbeing.

For any trans young people who are feeling scared or worried right now, please know that Belong To and a wide number of organisations are working to create an Ireland where you are equal, safe and valued.

We offer young people a safe space to explore their sexual orientation, gender identity and various LGBTQ+ topics without fear of judgement, harassment or discrimination.

If you need support, please get in touch with our youth workers today.


For further media information, please contact Belong To – LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland. 

Sinead Keane / 087 768 0389  

Notes to editors:  

  • Belong To CEO, Moninne Griffith and Research & Advocacy Manager, Dr Matt Kennedy are available for interview. To arrange an interview, please contact: Sinead Keane, Director of Communications and Advocacy: 087 768 0389/
  • Belong To, LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland is a national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) young people. Since 2003, Belong To has worked with LGBTQ+ youth to create a world where they are equal, safe and thriving in the diversity of their identities and experiences. The organisation advocates and campaigns on behalf of LGBTQ+ young people and offers a specialised LGBTQ+ youth service including crisis counselling with Pieta, information and the provision of LGBTQ+ youth groups across Ireland. Belong To also supports educators and professionals working with LGBTQ+ youth.