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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Dublin Pride is on today - here's all you need to know

Today’s parade will kick off at 1pm sharp.

Pride. Last year's Pride gathering at Dublin's Smithfield Square. Source: RollingNews.ie

PRIDE IS HERE – a rainbow-coloured celebration of the gay community and an opportunity to discuss any obstacles in equality we may still need to overcome.

This year’s theme is ‘Rainbow Revolution’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York that marked the start of the international Pride movement. 

The weather is looking decent for today. Although some cloud and heavy showers are forecast, temperatures will be warm, ranging between 20 and 26 degrees. 

This weekend, Ireland’s biggest Pride celebration gets underway in Dublin with the main parade route in the capital returning to Dublin’s O’Connell Street. Other gay Pride celebrations are due to take place in Cork, Belfast, Limerick and Galway later this summer. 

For the day that’s in it, we’ve put together a short history of Pride and a guide of what will be going on and where – starting with the main parade in Dublin city centre.

The Dublin route

Pride. Source: Dublin Pride

People will begin gathering at the Garden of Remembrance from 12pm today – the parade will begin at 1pm sharp. 

From O’Connell Street, the parade will turn on to Eden Quay and pass Liberty Hall.

Today’s parade will then cross the Liffey at Talbot Memorial Bridge and travel along City Quay, Lombard Street, Westland Row and end with a free outdoor event at Merrion Square.

If you are attending restricted areas for Pride, there are some security requirements you’ll have to meet.

You’ll only be allowed to carry bags smaller than A5 size (that’s half an A4 sheet). All bags will be searched, and alcohol isn’t permitted.

Dublin’s first Pride

As thousands of people prepare to descend on the capital for this year’s Pride, there are those who remember Pride’s origins which were rooted in the struggle for gay liberation. 

In 1983 Dublin’s first Pride parade took place and saw people march from St Stephen’s Green to the GPO on O’Connell Street in response to the murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park in September 1982.

Activist Tonie Walsh, founder of the Irish Queer Archive, recalls that day. 

“There was about 150 of us from all over Ireland and we marched from Stephen’s Green down to the GPO,” Walsh says. 

Prior to Dublin’s first Pride march, activists like Walsh held an annual picnic at Merrion Square, handing out leaflets about the Stonewall riots to Dubliners. 

It’s 50 years since an uprising by members of the LGBT community in New York inspired the creation of the modern gay rights movement.

As the struggle for LGBT rights internationally grew, Ireland’s Pride parade became larger each year as the country moved closer to enshrining in law the rights of gay people nationwide. 

In June 1993, Ireland officially passed legislation which finally decriminalised homosexuality.

The Irish nation took to the polls on 22 May 2015 to vote on the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

In total, 62% of voters backed the amendment, while 38% voted against it.

Ireland had voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

Is there an alternative Pride parade this year? 

This year’s Pride has not been without controversy in the lead-up to today’s celebrations, however.  

Some groups have crticised the eagerness of large corporations to fly the rainbow flag while other have argued that, internationally, Pride has sold out to what LGBT rights campaigner Peter Thatchell described yesterday as “rainbow-branded capitalism“. 

Others counter this argument by pointing out that mainstreaming the struggle for LGBT rights in Ireland fundamentally displays how far we have come as a society. 

And for the first time this year, uniformed members of An Garda Síochana will take part in the parade – again not without its controversy. 

In response, Queer Action Ireland has organised an alternative Pride event which is taking place on Rosie Hackett Bridge at 12pm – one hour before the official parade kicks off. 

What’s the craic with transport?

According to the AA, there will be a number of road closures today:

  • Parnell Sq East and North, Frederick St North and Cavendish Row will close from 9am to 4pm.
  • Merrion Sq East and South, Fitzwilliam St Lower, Mount St Upper and Mount St Crescent will close from 6am to 10pm.

Dublin Bus diversions will be in place on following routes from 11am to 6pm:

1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 25(a/b), 26, 27(a/b), 33, 37, 38(a), 39(a), 40, 41(a/b/c), 44, 46a, 61, 66(a/b), 67, 70, 83, 120, 122, 123, 140, 145, 151, 155, 747 and 757.

Holy God, that’s a lot of diversions. Yeah, but it’s Pride, get in the spirit.

Over 7,000 people from 150 groups will lead today’s parade and it’s estimated that 60,000 people took part in last year’s parade and march. 

“It’s the moment when people come out and share their new-found sexuality with the rest of the city and the country,” Walsh has said. “That’s very important in terms of affirmation.”

“People can criticise the corporate sector’s involvement but I think one of the significant strengths is that you’ve thousands of very ordinary people walking in the parade as allies.”

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