Cork to host vigil for victims of Orlando shootings

Lord Mayor says shooting is a hate crime and must be confronted as such

Tony Backe lights a candle at a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. Hundreds of people are expected to attend a vigil in Cork Wednesday evening for the victims of the  shooting. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Tony Backe lights a candle at a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. Hundreds of people are expected to attend a vigil in Cork Wednesday evening for the victims of the shooting. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

 

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a vigil in Cork Wednesday evening for the victims of the Orlando shooting.

The vigil, which is being organised by members of the LGBT community in Cork, is designed to show solidarity with those massacred by Omar Mateen in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando at the weekend.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary said that it was important that the people of Cork send out a message of support to the families of those killed and that hate crime would not be tolerated.

“This was a hate crime and we can never tolerate such things that are bubbling under the surface and dismiss them as if they were the result of just one person’s view or attitude - they’re not.

“They have to be very much challenged as a hate crime. We can dress this up as something else but it’s not, it’s a hate crime and it must be confronted as such,” he told Cork’s 96FM

Current Ms Gay Cork, Stephanie Fogarty said it was important for the LGBT community to support each other in the wake of such a shocking hate crime which resulted in such terrible loss of life.

“The whole community is standing together in solidarity and what we promote is LGBT inclusion and LGBT education to try and get rid of this ignorance about what it is to be LGBT,” she told 96FM.

Meanwhile Kate Moynihan of support and advocacy group, Lesbians in Cork (LINC) cautioned against the shootings by Mateen being used as grounds for attacking Islam, as he was mentally ill.

“We must remember to keep our hearts open. We must not blame the Muslim community. This was nothing to do with them,” Ms Moynihan told The Evening Echo.

“This attack has to be called homophobia. It was an attack on a group of people out having fun at night. It’s tragic. I cannot express how sad it is,” she said.

Wednesday evening’s vigil for the victims of the Orlando shootings and their families takes place at Daunt Square in Cork city centre at 6.30pm and will features speeches, music and a minute’s silence.

Books of condolences are open at Cork City Hall and Cork County Hall.