‘It feels like everyone is gay in Dublin today’

Thousands celebrate Gay Pride just weeks after Ireland voted for same-sex marriage

 

Thousands have taken to the streets of Dublin to celebrate the annual Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade.

Rainbow flags and balloons were in evidence as dancers in colourful costumes joined marchers along the route against the background sound of whistles and music.

Senator David Norris described the atmosphere as “absolutely wonderful”. He said the crowds on O’Connell St were the biggest he’s ever seen at the event.

The result of the same-sex marriage referendum along with yesterday’s decision by the US Supreme Court to give same-sex couples the right to marry has added to the sense of celebration.

Senator Norris said: “We led the way on gay marriage,” adding that it was “wonderful to see the [US]Supreme Court ruling yesterday.”

“It feels like everyone is gay in Dublin today,” he said.

“I think its becoming too fashionable,” he joked, before adding: “ I think I’ll come out as straight!”

A number of other politicians were also in attendance including Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister Alex White, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, Lynn Boylan, Mary Lou McDonald and former Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power.

Along with the citizens of Dublin, staff from Ebay, Facebook, Paypal, the Irish Red Cross and the Bank of Ireland carried colourful banners and balloons.

A Facebook banner read: “Equality rocks, thank you Ireland”.

Recently featured in the Lonely Planet guide to the best gay pride celebrations in the world, the Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade is expected to attract record crowds some 32 years after it was first held.

The parade started at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, at 1.30pm, before heading down O’Connell St, crossing the Liffey and then culminating at the specially constructed Pride Village at Merrion Square.

Ongoing works on the Luas line meant the parade could not cross the river at O’Connell Bridge this year but instead it turned left on to Eden Quay before crossing the Liffey at the Talbot Memorial Bridge.

Grand Marshals Gráinne Healy, Mark Kelly and Brian Sheehan, will address the crowd at the Pride Village.

Participants will be entertained by Le Galaxie, Jerry Fish, ELM, MC Panti Bliss and Veda. A community zone, family area and costumes will also be on hand.

Dublin Pride has grown from a single-day event first held in 1983 to a week-long celebration featuring art exhibitions, music and other cultural events.