The Pride flags were originally erected outside the council offices in Waterford City to celebrate the launch of Waterford’s ‘Pride of the Déise’ festival. The flag was then taken down and burned last weekend.
A man in his 40s was arrested in connection with the incident. Gardaí said the man has been charged with a count of criminal damage and is due to appear at Waterford District Court on July 6th.
After this first incident, the Mayor of Waterford pledged to replace the Pride flag that was burned. He upheld this promise and raised two new flags outside the council offices. The whole of Waterford got involved in the pride spirit and raised flags outside homes and businesses.
Mayor Damien Geoghegan tweeted on Saturday morning: “Once again it’s my sad duty to report that the Pride Flags were cut down overnight and removed from the flagpoles on The Mall. A truly despicable act.” The Gardaí are once again investigating the incident.
Once again it’s my sad duty to report that the Pride Flags were cut down overnight and removed from the flagpoles on The Mall. A truly despicable act.
It’s now once again in the hands of the Gardai. pic.twitter.com/cJgTrWqyOv
— Mayor Damien Geoghegan (@damiengeoghegan) June 12, 2021
Cllr. Geoghegan told TheJournal.ie that not only does the council intend to restore the flags today (June 14), but to install more than two and look at ways of securing them.
In a statement made on Facebook, the organisers for the Pride of the Déise festival said: “There has been yet another heartbreaking moment in our history as Waterford people. Someone has cut down our flags in an attempt to cut down our Pride. This is not possible.”
They also made a call for the people of Waterford to continue showing their pride by flying rainbow flags and are encouraging people to post pictures of them. If anyone is without a flag but would like one, they can get in touch with the organisers.
The Facebook post received a lot of positive comments from people showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community of Waterford. As the Pride of the Déise organisers said: “Táimid bródúil. Táimid cróga. Ní bhogtar muid. – We are proud. We are strong. We will not be moved!”
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