This Saturday, July 1, Navan is hosting its first-ever Pride parade and festival with events “…celebrating diversity and emphasising solidarity with our LGBTQ+ family, friends and neighbours”.
As the culmination of the week-long festival which began on June 26, the parade begins on Saturday at 2pm at The Solistace and will march through Navan Town centre and conclude at the Fair Green car park.
Navan Pride was created to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and increase the visibility of this community in Navan. Its mission is to: “..bring together like-minded people supporting individuals being themselves and freely expressing who they are, without fear or negative comment.”
Patrick Lawlor, the committee’s Co-Chair, said: “We’re eight years on from the Marriage Equality referendum being passed, but there are a lot of people who still keep their sexuality hidden, and while that is their choice, it would be nice if this town opened its arms to LGBTQ+ people to make them feel that bit more comfortable in their true selves.”
The festival comes just a month after a teenager was attacked in a residential Navan neighbourhood. Students filmed the violence and posted the video online, and the 14-year-old victim was reportedly treated for severe facial injuries at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Approximately 100 community members attended a ‘Rally Against Hate’ in Navan to demonstrate their solidarity with the student who was attacked.
Irish presenter Brendan Courtney offered his love and encouragement to the teen, and addressed the public, saying: “It has never been more important to march with us on Pride, we need you”. Similarly, President Michael D Higgins called Navan Pride “a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of unity, principle, rights and solidarity.”
While preparations for Navan Pride were underway before the attack happened, many locals view the celebrations as an opportunity to show their support for their LGBTQ+ neighbours.
Last committee meeting before the Pride Festival next week. I’ve worked with many groups and campaigns over the years, but nothing in comparison to these guys. Navan will be covered by a rainbow next week, and you’re all invited to join the celebrations ? pic.twitter.com/wPy5Jbekkr
— Edward Fennessy (@fennessy_edward) June 22, 2023
The official sponsor of the parade is eBay Ireland, and the company is said to be incredibly proud to support this event.
Siobhan Curtin, eBay Ireland Site Leader, said: “At eBay Ireland, we have always championed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion…LGBTQ+ inclusion is a key part of our strong company culture and central to how eBay operates to build an inclusive space for all employees, in the workplace and beyond.”
Over 30 eBay employees will march together to demonstrate their solidarity with the community. Siobhan added: “…It was only natural for us to support the first-ever Navan Pride Parade, giving back to the community so many of our employees call home”.
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.