The annual LGBTQ+ Pride parade will return to Dublin city centre this weekend after two years of Covid-19 cancellations.
The parade will start from the Garden of Remembrance just after noon on Saturday. The route will run down O’Connell Street, across the quays past Liberty Hall and over the Talbot Memorial Bridge, before moving up Westland Row and finishing at Merrion Square.
A Pride festival area has been set up at Merrion Square, with events and music to run until about 7pm. The festival will also have a family zone putting on arts and crafts, as well as a magic show.
If you want to watch the parade but cannot attend in person, Gay Community News and Dublin Pride are hosting a live-stream of the march on Facebook and Youtube.
Popular LGBTQ+ pubs and clubs such as The George, Street 66 and Pantibar are likely to be thronged soon after they open up their doors on Saturday.
LGBTQ+ club night Mother is hosting its annual Pride Block Party on Saturday and Sunday night in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, with a host of DJs and artists performing. Tickets for Saturday night are sold out, but tickets for Sunday night (€45) or €80 weekend tickets for both nights are still available.
Outhouse, an LGBTQ+ community centre on Capel Street, is hosting an over-18s non-alcoholic Pride party from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Cork City’s Pride parade is set to take place on July 31st, while Galway’s Pride festival is to take place in August.
Recent months have seen a number of assaults in Dublin city centre on members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as an increasingly polarised debate about the transgender community.
A series of Liveline programmes described by Dublin Pride as “unacceptable and extremely harmful” to trans people led the parade organisers to end a media partnership with RTÉ.
Domhnaill Harkin, a 27-year-old gay man from Co Donegal, recalls the first time seeing a Pride parade when he was a young teenager, on a trip to Dublin with his father to visit Dáil Éireann. “I always remember that so well,” he told The Irish Times.
Mr Harkin, who came out when he was 23, said growing up in rural Donegal was difficult. “I suffered a lot when I was in school from an early age, because people assumed I was gay,” he said. Looking back now he said he “wished” he had come out as gay to his family sooner.
Pride was “so important” to show young LGBTQ+ people that it was okay to be who they are, he said. “Pride began as a protest, but it is very much a celebration . . . things are changing for the better,” he said.
“Gay men have it very good. It’s important to remember other members of the community, those who are trans . . . still suffer so much,” he said.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has reaffirmed his support for a mandatory LGBT+ inclusive Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum in all schools regardless of ethos.
Speaking to Adam Long of NFX, the National LGBT Federation, as part of an interview series ahead of Dublin Pride, Mr Martin said there should be “uniformity and consistency” in RSE and the programme overall “has to be updated”.
There was a review of RSE in 2019 which highlighted the need to update the curriculum to include LGBTQ+ matters. Since then, the RSE curriculum has been under review and there are plans to rollout an updated syllabus for Junior Cycle from next year, followed by senior cycle and primary.