(Photo: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE have taken to the streets today for the annual Pride parade in Dublin city centre.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the parade, and marks the end of a fortnight of events to mark LGBT rights. Organisers say the event is the second largest parade in Ireland, behind the Patrick’s Day event.
The parade began at the Gardens of Remembrance on Parnell Square and wound its way to Merrion Square.
However the parade was disrupted on O’Connell Street shortly after it began this afternoon when a small number of protesters stood in front of a Labour bus which was taking part in the parade and stopped it from going any further. The protest, which is believed to have been an anti-property tax and anti-government protest, lasted around ten minutes.
The Pride events began in Dublin more than a decade after the gay pride movement originally began as a result of the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. Instead, Ireland saw smaller groups calling for rights for gay people, including the abolition of the controversial Victorian law which criminalised homosexual acts.
The Pride parade has its roots in a protest springing from a 1983 case in which a judge gave five men suspended sentences on manslaughter charges after the brutal murder of 31-year-old Aer Rianta workerDeclan Flynn in a Dublin park. That year, a march was held from Dublin city centre to Fairview, where the attack took place, to protest against violence against gay men and women. The first Pride parade took place that summer.
The parade has increased in size and scale over the years. The parade Grand Marshal this year was Anna Grodzka, a transgender MP from the Polish parliament.