Pride flag outside Café de Mode in Carlow set alight in homophobic act

The Pride flag was pulled from the building and burned on the ground outside the premises.

A rainbow flag hanging on the outside wall of a cafe

“We respond to hate with joy. We exist. We are not afraid. We aren’t going anywhere.”

Café de Mode, a coffee shop in Co Carlow, was targeted with a hate crime last Saturday night, when their Pride flag was thrown to the ground and burned.

Café de Mode is a small coffee shop in Ballon, Co Carlow, run by Mariam and David Lloyd. This year the Lloyds wanted to show their support for Pride, as is their tradition since Carlow’s first Pride festival three years ago. The Lloyds never envisioned their act of solidarity evoking a violent reaction.

“We’ve had that flag outside the premises for the past three to four years and this has never happened before – we are just lost for words.”

The homophobic act shocked and appalled the Lloyds, which they highlighted through an Instagram photo @cafedemode101: “It’s a sad Sunday when we arrive at work and find the remains of our #prideflag on the ground! Prejudice is obviously alive in #Ballon #Carlow.”

Dave explained to the Carlow Nationalist how they never expected such an incident to occur in a place such as Ballon; “I never thought I’d have to take the flag in at night, when the café was closed, especially in a little village like Ballon.

“For someone to destroy our belongings is unacceptable. The flag was burned and the remains were left outside the premises.”

To shed a warm light on the situation, the café was gifted a new Pride flag by Carlow Pride Fest and Lavender the Queen. They are are all pictured on the café’s Instagram, alongside the caption- “The wonderful organisers of @carlowpridefest along with @lavenderthequeen visited us this evening with a gift  of a new #prideflag to replace the one that was destroyed. Thank you so much.”

@Carlowpridefest reposted the photograph of Café de Mode and wrote: “We respond to hate with joy. We exist. We are not afraid. We aren’t going anywhere.”

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