Thousands in Gay Pride parade


Thousands of people attended the annual Gay Pride parade in Dublin yesterday.

Organisers estimated more than 30,000 people attended the event, up from 26,000 last year.

For the first time the parade was headed by representatives of national and international police forces.

It ran from the Garden of Remembrance, through O' Connell Street, past Trinity College and the House of the Oireachteas and finished up in Merrion Square, where, headed by Brian Kennedy, more than four hours of revelry took place.

Also for the first time in the parade's 29-year history, there were representatives from every political party, including Sinn Féin, Fine Gael and Labour.

Other organisations involved included Facebook, Amnesty International and Open Heart House.

The theme of this year's parade was 'Show Your True Colours', which organiser Jo McNamara said was designed to encourage people to be free to express themselves.

"We have an aspiration that all people who want to show support for the gay community can do so and also that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can show their own true colours and show that they are free and equal citizens of our great country,

"I work a regular nine to five job but I wanted to get involved because I love giving something back. I love seeing the joy of people in the community when they can express themselves and show their true colours," she said.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said today the time had come for gay marriage.

He said the Government, the State and policy makers should no longer dictate who people fall in love with or who they decide to spend their lives with.

He added that he believed that Irish law in the area is out of step with public opinion.

“I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come,” he said.