Donegal celebrates historical first Pride parade

Inishowen Pride was a resounding success, with huge numbers turning out to fly the rainbow flag.

Marchers hold Inishowen Pride banner at Donegal parade.
Image: Twitter: @aidanjmcg

On Sunday, June 5, Donegal celebrated its first-ever Pride parade through the streets of Buncrana. Organised as a part of Inishowen Pride, participants met at Scoil Mhuire at 3 PM and followed a route along St Mary’s Road followed by Main Street, before finishing up at the Buncrana Library car park.

Thousands turned out for the historic occasion, donning rainbow flags galore as the sun shone down on the coastal town. TV personality and Donegal Person of the Year Noel Cunningham hosted the Pride parade, while performer Mickey Doherty and live music from We Love Sax kept the crowds entertained. 

The county’s queer community and allies reacted to the event, with one Twitter user saying it was “absolutely incredible” and “actually quite emotional” to be able to attend a Pride celebration in their rural hometown. Another tweeted: “Such a happy vibe here today. Was great fun and great to see so many people just being themselves”.

Representatives from neighbouring organisation Foyle Pride were also in attendance, and shared that “The excitement and energy that was in Buncrana today for Inishowen Pride was just amazing.”

Inishowen Pride came to fruition following June 2021, when locals took it upon themselves to display rainbow flags and bunting throughout Buncrana. It was clear that the town was ready to celebrate in style, and a voluntary community group was born and ultimately organised this fantastic occasion. 

Leading up to the festivities, committee spokesperson Jen McCarron stated: “The event presents an opportunity to recognise the progress that has been made to treat all community members equally and ensure that everyone feels like they belong.”

McCarron added: “Our young people should no longer have to question their value in the same way LGBTQ+ people did in the past. Celebrations like this are a sign of hope for everyone but are especially important for the LGBTQ+ young people in our community.”

After such a successful first event, Inishowen Pride is sure to become an annual celebration for the people of Donegal and beyond.

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