Pride flag raised again in Waterford city after recent damage

Recent activity had a damaging effect, particularly on young people, Minister said

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan pictured earlier this month raising one of the flags that was later burned. Photograph: Waterford City and County Council

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan pictured earlier this month raising one of the flags that was later burned. Photograph: Waterford City and County Council

 

The Pride flag was raised on The Mall in Waterford city on Monday afternoon by Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman and Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan.

They were later joined there by members of the Pride of the Déise group.

On June 6th two Pride flags raised outside the Menapia Building on The Mall to mark Waterford’s ‘Pride of the Déise’ weekend, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, were burned.

On June 12th their replacements were cut from their poles, while last Wednesday “Straight Pride” posters featuring a heterosexual bride and groom were put up around the city.

Mr O’Gorman said he was visiting Waterford “to recognise the really strong solidarity that’s been shown by political leaders in the city” after these incidents.

Waterford mayor Damien Geoghegan “had been really strong in condemning this activity and similarly all political representatives across the spectrum have rallied around the community,” the Minister said.

Such incidents had a damaging effect, particularly on young people, “maybe young people who are considering coming out at the moment,” he said,

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, he said that was why “it’s important for the Government to show solidarity but it’s also why it’s so important that the solidarity that’s been shown across the community in Waterford, from businesses to community groups to the political establishment, has been really important and I think will offer real solace to LGBTI+ people in the city.”

Mr Geoghegan described the ceremony as “a very nice event” although “obviously I would prefer if we didn’t have to meet on numerous occasions in order to raise the Pride flags”.

He said the people of Waterford “fully endorse and fully support the flying of the Pride flags in Waterford”. There was a small number of individuals in the city “who take very strange positions on things, whether it be Pride flags or the pandemic,” he said. “They’re very much in the minority. They’d be quite vocal and you’d see a number of their videos on social media. They certainly don’t represent the views of the people of Waterford,” he said.

A man in his 40s was arrested in connection with the burning of Pride flags earlier this month and has been charged with criminal damage. He is due to appear at Waterford District Court on July 6th.