On Saturday, June 24, the streets of the Irish capital were flooded with the colours of the rainbow as thousands of people gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dublin Pride parade.
This year’s march started on O’Connell Street, where tens of thousands of people started to make their way through the city. Crossing the River Liffey and passing Custom House, they arrived to Merrion Square, where the Pride Village was set up for a full-day festival.
People of all ages and backgrounds marched in the parade, with many more gathering in the huge crowd that watched and cheered from the sidelines. The GCN Team also marched, joining a wonderful array of community groups such as the NXF, Outhouse, LGBT Ireland, Belong To, Shout Out, TENI, Trans and Intersex Pride Dublin, MPower, Dublin Lesbian Line and many more.
The theme of this year’s Dublin Pride parade was ‘Protest, Remember, Celebrate’, in honour of three crucial anniversaries within Irish LGBTQ+ history. It was 50 years ago that the first Irish LGBTQ+ group, the Sexual Liberation Movement, was established in Trinity College. Moreover, 40 years ago, activists were taking the streets of Dublin for the groundbreaking march to Fairview Park.
Organised in protest against the leniency of the sentences given to the homophobic murderers of Irish man Declan Flynn, the Fairview March is generally considered the birth of the modern Dublin Pride movement, although occasional Pride events had taken place in the capital since 1974. Finally, 2023 also marks the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.
— Victoria Secret (@Victoria_Secret) June 24, 2023
Because of the importance of these anniversaries, Dublin Pride invited the founders of the Sexual Liberation Movement, the organisers of the Fairview March and the activists who fought for decriminalisation to join the parade as collective Grand Marshall.
Commenting on this year’s theme, Edmund Lynch, who helped found the Sexual Liberation Movement and thus was one of the grand marshalls this year, said: “The message this year is good because it celebrates both the past, future and the present.”
Want to say a massive thank you to the @DublinPride crew for making this Pride a massive success and for their ongoing support of Outhouse.
— Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre (@Outhouse_Dublin) June 24, 2023
Speaking to the Sunday Independent prior to the parade, Executive Director of Dublin Pride Jamie Kenny said, “This year we have taken over both sides of O’Connell Street, we are just that big now.”
“We are a well-oiled machine at this stage so there are no radical changes. It takes the first people to walk it about 45 to 50 minutes. It’s not a very long march but by the time it’s totally cleared it can take a few hours,” Kenny added.
“It’s a great day and anyone I know who has ever done it for the first time, the adrenaline kicks in and they are really eager to do it again,” he said.
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