Co-founders of Wicklow Pride Festival Dave Thomas and Patrick Bracken are encouraging businesses and Wicklow County council to fly the Pride flag in support of the LGBTQ+ community during the month of June.
Dave Thomas was interviewed in May on East Coast radio and was asked specifically about businesses supporting the Wicklow Pride Festival and the LGBTQ+ community. Giving an answer at the time which he felt was quite harsh and which he regretted immediately at the time really resonated with the Wicklow community and has initiated a positive response.
This year Thomas requested that Wicklow County Council through their protocol committee, fly the pride flag on all of their buildings along with municipal district buildings around the county. This request was agreed upon and all municipal districts were asked to participate. The committee also agreed that all libraries would fly the Pride flag along with organising projects around Pride within each library.
The longest handmade stone bridge in Ireland will also be lit up for Pride due to the work of Thomas and Cllr. Peir Leonard. The arches last year were lit with the colour orange to represent healing amidst the pandemic. This year Thomas requested Pink to represent sexuality.
A friend of Thomas, Peter Fitzgerald also asked Bridgewater shopping centre in Arklow to display a flag at their front door, the centre agreed to this and was presented with a flag by Peter Fitgerald signalling a first for the centre.
Many other businesses and organisations such as The Coral Leisure Centre Arklow, Arklow CBS, The Bike Lane Arklow, Arklow Town Football Club, The Midway Bar Arklow, Erik O’Eir artist, Servier Arklow, and The Arklow Bay Hotel. There are also flags flying in neighbouring Wicklow towns such as Redcross, Dunlavin, Bray, Blessington, and Wicklow Town.
This is a huge step for the LGBTQ+ community in Wicklow. Last year, only Wicklow County Council and Arklow Municipal District had Pride Flags on display. On the increase in visibility, Dave Thomas commented: “I hope to have one or two events for Wicklow Pride Festival and to keep the momentum going with the Pride Flags so that there are many more ‘first time’ supporters for Pride Month 2022.”
You can follow and support the amazing work that Wicklow Pride Festival does through their Facebook page.
© 2021 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.