This is in the hopes of not needing as much funding from corporations and would see more emphasis and space given to community groups.
— Michael Barron (@MichaelNBarron) July 18, 2018
On the petition page, which was set up by Jaime Nanci Barron, it says:
“Unlike the St. Patricks day parade, Pride has to rely heavily on corporate sponsors who, with each passing year, become more and more visible, overshadowing LGBTQ+ community groups with their branding.
“This has to stop. It is time Dublin City Council provided more substantial funding to the LGBTQ+ Pride parade.”
In terms of what will happen once signatures are gained, Jaime said:
“Well firstly gather a small group of queer activists and draw up a proposal of what the funding and parade would look like, and then create a supporting document and include it with the petition and request an audience with DCC.
“The idea of DCC funding the parade is not original or totally ideal. No one is under the illusion that it will solve all the problems or that removing corporate sponsors entirely, is possible.
“But if you look at NYC pride, the city pays for this so corporate branding is minimal, another city accepts corporate funding but uses it to fund community group floats, and the corporation just has an add in the brochure.
“They aren’t emblazoned all over the parade. I’m hoping to just start an important discussion. I know Clodagh is working her ass off to make Pride as brilliant as it can be, and unfortunately, as big as it is, sponsorship is essential wherever it comes from. But I think it is killing the meaning of Pride. I don’t think I’m alone in that?”
The issue of corporations over-shadowing community at the parade was recently highlighted in an opinion piece in the Dublin InQuirer written by Evgeny Shtorn.
Evgeny has been living in Ireland’s Direct Provision system having fled from Russia.
He said that he had to wait two hours before his section of the parade moved:
“One after another they marched, their corporate logos decorated with rainbows. Two hours later, we LGBT asylum seekers and other LGBT community groups finally got our chance to move.
“Most of those watching the parade, those we wanted to hear and see our messages so they could think about them, had already gone.
“My first Pride parade wasn’t exactly as I expected. It wasn’t bad. I just felt something wasn’t exactly right.”
It was this article that made Jaime decide to run this petition, he told GCN:
“It was sort of the kick in the ass that made me decide to do the petition. I’ve been wondering about doing one for a long time and I’m not totally sure how effectual they are but it’s good to put the idea out there.
“Pride is about our community and it’s many shapes and forms, not about the banks that are funding us to parade one day and kicking people out onto the street the next.”
Clodagh Leonard, chairperson of Dublin Pride responded to the article by Evgeny saying that this was caused by some confusion due to high attendance numbers and that all community groups were placed in the first half of the parade.
She apologised for the confusion and committed to improving on this next year.
She had previously addressed the corporate presence at Pride in her speech at Smithfield saying:
“I don’t think to ask for corporate sponsors, because we can’t get money from the Government is good enough.”
In response to the petition, Clodagh said:
“We at Dublin LGBTQ Pride completely agree that there should be more public funding available to ensure that we can have a safe and inclusive festival that focuses on the needs of our community.
“At the moment this festival is funded by a combination of Dublin City Council, who in the last number of years have been very supportive of Pride, both financially and in the way, they have cooperated and advised us, and corporate sponsors.
“There, however, has been no funding at all from the government. While St.Patricks Day received €1,000,000 from Failte Ireland in 2018, and with €3,000,000 being made available for security for the Pope’s visit we, as Ireland’s second largest people’s parade, unfortunately, have yet to receive any government support.
“We would love to see this change in the future. Our priority is always to ensure Pride has enough funds to continue to be beautiful, inclusive and free for all participants.”
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