Irish LGBT Vigils Held To Show Solidarity For Orlando Shooting

Candles on left for the Irish LGBT Vigil for Orlando Mass shooting on left, Omar Mateen

A vigil will be held in Dublin tonight to show solidarity for the LGBT who were killed and injured in Orlando gay club


A silent vigil will be held tonight by GLEN (Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network), BeLonG To Youth Services and TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) at 6:45pm tonight, Monday 13 June 2016.

“Please join GLEN – GAY AND LESBIAN EQUALITY NETWORK, BeLonG To Youth Services and Transgender Equality Network Ireland in Bernardo’s Square (beside City Hall on Dame Street, Dublin 2) at 6.45pm tonight, Monday 13 June 2016, for a silent expression of our solidarity and sympathy with all those affected and bereaved by the tragedy,” a spokesperson for the three LGBT groups has said.

“We are all in shock at the horror unfolding at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Speaking on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Ireland, our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the survivors and friends, families and loved ones of those who died.

“The gay club, the beating heart of many LGBT+ people’s social lives, is a sanctuary for LGBT people all over the world.

“For generations, many LGBT people fleeing rejection, oppression and abuse have found the gay club or bar to be a refuge where they can feel safe, where they can be themselves without worrying about the repercussion they may experience in the home, in school or in the streets.”

As a way of showing support the event organisers have asked people to simply bring rainbow flags or other emblems of the LGBT community.

The spokesperson reminds the community that Muslim LGBT members are, as a result of the Orland shooting, likely to experience increased levels of racism even  they “are equally as terrified of an indiscriminately homophobic killer as anyone else”.

The event will be held in Bernardo Square just opposite the Olympia Theatre and offers Irish people the opportunity to express solidarity with those affected by the mass shooting in Orlando which has claimed the lives of forty-nine people (fifty including the gunman) and has left fifty three others injured.


U.S. Response

The twenty-nine year old Islamic gunman, Omar Mateen was a US citizen born in New York and according to an FBI special agent was a known ISIS sympathiser.

Mateen was killed by police who entered the club, rescuing thirty hostages in the early hours of Sunday morning.

President Obama has released a statement declaring the shooting as an act of terror and hate against everything America stands for.


An LGBT Community United

Those wishing to express their support for those affected by the maligned incident in Orlando will be able to sign a book of condolences in Cork on Tuesday 14 June 2016 in Cork City Hall from 9:15am.

A vigil will be held in Daunt Square in Cork city this Wednesday 15 June 2016 at 6:30pm where LGBT people and anyone wishing express their sympathy and solidarity for Orlando’s tragedy.

There will also be a vigil held in Mullingar this Thursday 16 June, organised by Mullingar Pride, the town’s new LGBT group.

The vigil which is open to everyone will take place in Mullingar’s Market Square at 9pm this Thursday evening, where attendees are invited to bring rainbow flags and candles.

Equality Mayo will be holding a vigil on Saturday for the victims of the massacre in Orlando on Saturday 18 June in Market Square, Mayo at 2pm. The vigil will be open to everyone.

A spokesperson for Equality Mayo said: “We will stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Florida, with their friends and families and with our community around the world in this time of anguish and heartache.”

Now is the time that Ireland’s LGBT community and the Irish community as a whole can come together to show support for those affected by this tragedy by attending one of the vigils throughout the country.

(Image via Flickr)

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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