First-ever Clonmel Pride Parade hugely successful despite brief disruption

The event came to a momentary halt in the face of a "masked bigot" cursing at the marchers.

A group of people march in the Clonmel Pride Parade with rainbow banners and flags
Image: Image via Twitter @BillyORiordan

“There is no room for hate here. Love is love…”

Clonmel Pride Festival took place last weekend, with the Tipperary town’s first-ever Pride Parade being hugely successful despite a disruption in the form of a “masked bigot” cursing at the marchers.

A young man wearing a red face-covering disrupted proceedings, calling the Pride participants “f*cking evil” and chanting “f*ck the f*cking Pride” as people marched. He also forcibly took a Pride flag from marchers and broke the stick in half before throwing it on the ground.

Although the face-covering concealed the attacker’s identity, the disruption was caught on camera by someone in the crowd, with the video now circulating on social media via the ‘Ireland against Facism‘ Twitter account.

“Masked bigot tries to disrupt the Clonmel Pride Festival yesterday,” the Tweet reads. “He’s the type now that would hop on a thread to voice his disgust at what you’ve said rather than scroll on by. If he didn’t want to see the pride march, he could have simply not attended.”

Although the Parade faced this brief disruption, thankfully no one was hurt and the event’s attendees applauded as the offender took his leave, with one Twitter user astutely commenting, “I suppose he just demonstrated exactly why gay pride parades are needed.”

In a statement given to GCN by Clonmel Pride Chairperson Gérard Sweetman, the committee emphasises the success of the Pride Festival and the importance of amplifying the triumphs of the event over this one moment of disruption.

“It was one negative out of 1000 positives in the weekend … The love outweighed the hate and that’s what matters, not that person,” the statement read. “Let’s talk about that we made history with our first Pride parade and the hundreds that attended our events with their families friends and allies to the LGBT+ community.”

The statement continues, “Let’s not forget Pride is still very much a protest and this has proved why we still need Pride … Clonmel as a community came out in support of Pride and the LGBT+ community. Be proud of who you are and, to our allies, stand up and call out homophobia, transphobia and any hate towards our community. There is no room for hate here. Love is love, Clonmel had Pride, Be Proud Be You.”

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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