Fermanagh to host its first Pride Festival

Plans are currently underway to organise the first Enniskillen Pride Festival in County Fermanagh.

On the left an image of Fermanagh town. On the right LGBT+ youth at Dublin Pride carrying a rainbow flag
Image: Alan Betson

County Fermanagh is due to host its inaugural Pride event in Enniskillen in July 2020. 

The announcement of the festival comes after a poll garnering people’s support for an Enniskillen Pride was posted on the social media pages of Alliance representative Mr Matthew Beaumont. The response to the festival has been largely positive and welcoming, with the online survey resulting in 85% of participants voting in favour of Enniskillen Pride 2020.

After cities and towns across the globe including Dublin and London became awash with colour last week with annual LGBT+ pride events, Fermanagh now appears eager to participate in the celebrations next year with its own parade.

This comes as good news for the LGBT+ community within the rural region, with many LGBT+ youth feeling the pressure to emigrate to centres like Belfast due to a lack of support and facilities in smaller towns.

Based on the increasing momentum and support for the festival, the organisers have now started work on establishing a committee for the creation and running of the event. Pride Enniskillen is due to be a not-for-profit organisation which is hoped to be funded largely through a combination of government grants, member donations and corporate sponsors.

It will also have the support of The Rainbow Project, the largest LGBT+ organisation in the North of Ireland.

Matthew Beaumont has published the mission statement for Enniskillen Pride on his Facebook page. He states, “the mission of Pride Enniskillen is to promote and celebrate the identities and cultural expression of all people of diverse sexuality and gender living in and originally from Enniskillen and County Fermanagh.”

Fermanagh would join Belfast and Derry in hosting an LGBT+ Pride festival, amidst the backdrop of increasing demand for legislative marriage equality in the North of Ireland. Progress for the legislation of gay marriage has been delayed due to the current absence of a Stormont Assembly.***

Belfast Pride Festival will be taking place this year on July 27 to August 5, followed by Derry Pride on Saturday, August 24.

*** Since the story was first published the House of Commons have voted in favour of introducing same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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