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Dublin: 3 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar marches in Belfast pride parade for the first time

Today is the first time the taoiseach attended the Belfast pride parade which is highlighting the theme of marriage equality.

Image: Niall Carson

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has joined thousands of people who took to the streets of Belfast today for the annual gay pride parade. 

It comes six weeks after Varadkar marched in the Dublin pride parade for the third time, alongside officers from both the PSNI and An Garda Síochana who marched together for the first time. 

Today is the first time the taoiseach attended the Belfast pride parade which this year is under the theme of ‘Rights Now’. 

Varadkar tweeted this morning saying the parade brought together the “best of Britishness and Irishness”. 

He said: “Biggest march in Northern Ireland is not orange or green, it’s rainbow coloured. This is NI at its best. Best of Britishness and Irishness.”

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK or Ireland to not have equal marriage rights afforded to members of the LGBT+ community. 

Last month, MPs in Westminster voted in favour of a bill that would afford equal marriage rights to citizens in Northern Ireland if Stormont was not back up and running within three months.

Sinn Féin’s John Finucane, the current mayor of Belfast city council, raised a rainbow flag over Belfast city hall for the first time in a show of support. 

Sinn Féin’s leader in the north, Michelle O’Neill also joined the crowds who filled the streets around city hall today. 

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