In an incredible show of support, the Guinness Gates were painted in rainbow colours in honour of the LGBT+ Union Cup due to take place next week. This is the first time in the company’s history the Guinness Gates have been painted anything other than black or blue.
Irish host team, the Emerald Warriors, won the bid to welcome 45 teams from 15 countries to Ireland – all converging on Dublin’s DCU from June 7 – 9 for the two day festival and celebration of rugby.
This year, for the first time, there will also be a dedicated women’s tournament – the Union Cup Women’s Cup, with the trophy named in honour of Ann Louise Gilligan.
Making history: for the first time ever, @GuinnessIreland has transformed its iconic gates to support its partnership with Europe’s Biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament. Make sure to snap a photo with the gates to show how you #TryWithPride!
— Union Cup – Dublin 2019 (@unioncuprugby) May 28, 2019
Chair of the Union Cup, Richie Fagan, reflected on the event’s evolution: “To think that it started in 2005 with seven teams and just with the progression with the ynion alone, so it is becoming a very serious piece within the LGBT sporting arena. So much so that the next city to win the bid will fall under a more strict template.
“We have been lucky in that they have allowed us put our stamp as to how we want it ran, etc. We are the first to do many things. We are the first to add a women’s side to it, we are the first to have our federation like the IRFU run it. So we are now setting the precedent as to how it will be run going forward.”
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) May 28, 2019
Fagan continued, “We are the first to engage with brands like Guinness, who have serious credentials in diversity and inclusion with a passion for rugby. Never before had there been a tournament to do that. When we spoke to Guinness very early on, nearly two years ago, we gave them our dream and ambition and they could really see it. They were also pushing for us to bring it to that next level.
“There is going to be a template now set from what we leave behind as part of the legacy, so the next city to win the bid will have to fall in line with what we have done in the last 18 months.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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