Gardaí investigating “hate-related motivation” for Clonmel Pride disruption

The weekend-long Pride festival was an overwhelming success, despite the brief interruption of a masked individual cursing at the Parade.

Tina D. Parton celebrating at Clonmel Pride in front of a big Pride banner and a group of people wearing high-vis vests
Image: Image via Twitter @TippVolCentre

Gardaí are currently investigating the incident that took place at Clonmel Pride, when a masked individual cursed and shouted at those marching in the parade, before taking a progress flag, snapping it in half and throwing it on the ground.

The young man wore a red face-covering and called the Pride participants “f*cking evil” in a scene which was caught on film. The video is now circulating social media, in which the offender can also be heard chanting, “f*ck the f*cking Pride” as people marched.

Clonmel Pride Chairperson Gerard Sweetman confirmed to GCN yesterday that “the video [was] in the hands of the Gardaí”, and today The Irish Examiner reports that evidence is being gathered to support possible “hate-related motivation” for the incident.

“Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances, including any hate-related motivation, of an incident that occurred at Gladstone St in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at approximately 12.30pm on Saturday, August 27,” Garda HQ confirmed in a statement. “No arrests have been made at this stage of this ongoing investigation which is being conducted at Clonmel Garda Station.”

Evidence is being gathered in the form of witness statements and video footage from both social media and local CCTV.

This unfortunate event took place at the Tipperary town’s first-ever Pride parade, which Mr Sweetman confirms was an overwhelming success, despite the brief 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,” a statement given to GCN 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.”

Clive Davis, Co-chair of Ireland Pride Network and chairman of Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival, also weighed in on the events, stating, “Such thuggery has no place in our society.”

Mr Davis pointed out that Ireland is still in need of hate crime legislation which would offer more protections to LGBTQ+ citizens in the case of such incidences. Without such legislation, the offender at Clonmel Pride would hypothetically be charged with a public order offence or possibly as incitement to hatred.

“…Our legislators need to stop procrastinating and introduce robust hate crime laws to Ireland — now,” Mr Davis continued.

He added, “For those who question why there is still a need for Pride, this is it.”

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