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Limerick Pride Parade 2015 was held this year, Sat July 18, for huge crowds coming out to participate in this year’s festivities.
There has never been more reason to celebrate Limerick Pride than there has been this year, because of Ireland’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage earlier in May. National pride was celebrated after the marriage referendum but local pride in the decision was celebrated today, with three marchers carrying a Limerick flag near the front of the parade, with the words; “Limerick Said Yes”, printed on the front.
Elaborate outfits, colourful posters and rainbow pride flags covered the streets of Limerick City. A number of groups donated their time and effort to take part in the parade, as well as political parties Fianna Fáil, Labour, Sinn Féin and AAA showing their support.
The parade, leaving City Hall at 3pm, wound its way around our city, through O’Connell Street, Mallow Street and Henry Street, before arriving back at City Hall. The Parade Grand Marshall was Myles Breen, who rode in the back of an open-top car as it travelled the route of the parade. Myles, in his ever cheerful and charismatic manner, interacted with the crowds as he passed, and later referred to them as he addressed the growing crowds at the after-party: “I’m sure everyone who marched in the parade with me must have been overwhelmed by the response of people and with the positivity, respect and just sheer acceptance.”
The parade after-party, hosted by Paul Ryder, held performances by The Voice contestant Niall O’Halloran and Retro Fusion Gospel, a unique group that mixes different genres of music. Myles Breen performed his annual tea dance and took on a new spin, integrating elements of the rumba dance style.
Lisa Daly, chairperson of Limerick Pride, said the event was only possible ‘because of everyone coming together, not just as a country but for everyone behind the scenes, to send a very strong message that we’re all finally equal.”
Richard Lynch, Festival Organiser, said a few words at the after-party in The Orchard, saying ‘that now the LGBT community were equal in the eyes of the world in terms of Marriage Equality, our next goal is for complete equal rights of our transgendered brothers and sisters.’
Richard interviewed people on the day about what was the next step for the LGBT community in terms of equal human rights and the general consensus was that Trans people are among the most vulnerable members of Irish society and experience high levels of stigmatisation and marginalisation. Research shows suicidality, regular harassment and violence and systemic discrimination are commonplace. The good news is since June trans people in Ireland will now not have to rely on testimony from psychiatrists or endocrinologists to have their gender recognised by the state.
Instead, their self-declaration will be accepted, for the purpose of updating passports, driving licences, obtaining a new birth cert, and getting married. While the legislation is still not perfect, and we must not forget those under 18, non-binary people and people with an intersex condition, it is wonderful that Ireland recognised its citizens’ rights to determine our own identity. We are in a new era for trans rights in Ireland.
The Climax party, held in Dolan’s Warehouse on Saturday, wrapped up the day with performance by Dragged Up, later followed by DJ Ruth.
This year’s festival was focused around the theme of not only accepting others, but also accepting and expressing yourself.
Visit the Limerick Pride website here
Visit the Limerick Pride Facebook here
Visit the Limerick Pride Twitter here
Read more about Limerick Pride here
The countdown to Limerick Pride 2015 officially began with the press launch at Dolan’s in Limerick City on Mon, June 29.
At the Limerick Pride 2015 launch Patrick McElligott, Chairperson of Limerick Pride said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer a fantastic line up for Limerick Pride 2015, running from Tues, July 14 until Sun, July 19. There is something for everyone culminating in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday July 18 and the PrideFest party directly after the Parade. We want to welcome everyone to join us in celebrating LGBT culture in Limerick and show Limerick for the truly open and accepting city that she is. It is set to build on the success and positive energy of previous years festivals, promoting community spirit, community engagement and celebration. This past year the Irish LGBT community has received resounding support from the wider Irish community in their support of equal rights and marriage equality so this will be reflected in this year’s Pride Parade. We will celebrate our freedom and the opportunity we have been given as a community to develop the concept of the family unit within our community.”
Jerry O’Dea, newly appointed Mayor of Metropolitan District of Limerick, showed his support for the LGBT movement at the launch, adding: “In previous years, people who have participated in Pride have felt that this annual event was their only time to be truly express themselves. Since the passing of the marriage referendum, Ireland’s LGBT population has been joined by the wider population in celebration.”
The Limerick Pride Festival 2015 will be taking place starting on Tues, July 14 with events each day until Sunday July 19 and will feature a multitude of events, from educational workshops and discussions to evenings of music and club nights, to cater to the Pride needs of everyone.
This year’s Pride will have an educational aspect. Workshops will be held during the week covering topics such as a Coming Out, Sexual Empowerment and social groups for people of all ages, orientations and genders. All will be welcome to the workshops regardless of their sexual orientation giving the people of Limerick City an opportunity to get to know the Limerick LGBT community more and everyone is encouraged to get involved.
For the first time ever, The Mr and Ms Gay Limerick competition on Sat, July 11 will be held before the Limerick Pride festival at the Best Western Pery Hotel at 9pm, hosted by Paul Ryder with Regina George taking to the decks once the winners have been crowned to entertain us with the best party music around. Tickets are priced at €10.
Limerick Pride’s official Launch night on Tues, July 14 will be in “Stroker’s Gay Bar” on William Street with champagne, finger food and dance floor musical treats.
The ‘Pride Wedding Show’, a wedding fair established in 2014 as part of Limerick Pride Festival, will take place on Wed July 15 at the Limerick Strand Hotel. Sharon McMeel, an award winning wedding planner, said about the fair: “We’ll have different suppliers and vendors there, so all couples regardless of their sexual orientation will have a good opportunity to get answers to their important questions if they are considering getting married. With the historic ‘Yes’ vote this year for the marriage referendum, we actually had many engagements on the day of the referendum. It’s great to be able to look out for all the people who have gotten newly engaged.”
The annual Pride Parade on Sat, July 18, bring some extra colour and music to Limerick City Centre, gathering at City Hall at 2pm, the Parade will make its way at 3pm up O’Connell Street, across Mallow Street to Henry Street, past Arthurs Quay Park and returning to the Potato Market for PrideFest 2015 – a showcase of LGBT Culture in Limerick that you will not want to miss!
This years Grand Marshall will be none other than Limerick legend, actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen. Myles has been a stanch advocate of LGBT rights for decades and in 2009 as part of Limerick Pride, staged his play “Language UnBecoming a Lady”, telling the story of one gay man’s life in Limerick and it left a profound effect on audiences in Limerick. Now as Myles is about to take the play to New York in Sept, it is fitting that he leads the community in their walk through the streets of Limerick celebrating their freedom and new-found equal rights. Myles said: “I am beyond honoured to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of this years Parade. Growing up in Limerick in the 70’s and 80’s, I never dreamed of one day leading a Parade through the streets of my beloved hometown in celebration of equal human rights for the LGBT community. It’s a dream come through and I feel my life has come full circle. I hope everyone comes out to help me celebrate!”
That night after Pridefest, the main “Climax Party” at Dolan’s Warehouse, will feature “Dragged Up” star Paul Ryder and guests Pixie Woo and Victoria Secret performing their colorful show full of energy and movement, followed by DJ Ruth on the main floor and a “Saved by the 90’s” party upstairs.
A full line-up for Pride week can be found at the Limerick Pride website, with updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Tag your photos and comments about this years Pride with #ExpressYourselfLimerick.
For media inquires email the Chair of Limerick Pride at [email protected]
For more information on Limerick Pride, click here
Check out the Limerick LGBTQ Facebook here
Check out the Limerick Pride Twitter here
To read more about Limerick Pride, click here
Limerick Says Yes. Last Saturday, The Yes Equality campaign team was out in force at the count in the UL Arena, conducting tallies as boxes were opened and votes were counted. I spent the day with my crew filming and photographing a very emotional day that will be remembered forever in Irish history as Irish voters decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box.
The people of Ireland backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum that marked a dramatic social shift in a traditionally Catholic country that only decriminalized homosexuality two decades ago. After one of the largest turnouts in a referendum there, 62 percent of voters said ‘Yes’, making Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote. It is a social revolution and it’s very clear that this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people.
One member of the Yes Equality team, who goes by the name of Billie, got down on one knee to propose to her long-term girlfriend Kate Stoica after the result became clear. “Kate we make a great team. I love you inside and out, head to toe, I don’t want to waste another minute of my life without you as my wife,” said Billie. “I’m very overwhelmed right now,” said Katie, who was surrounded by friends and well-wishers including her mum Jacinta.
Afterwards, we all went to the Kasbah Club at Dolans for the announcement of the National vote. It was like New Years Eve in 1999 as people cried, laughed and held each other. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it was happening and I burst into tears at the final announcement. I am so incredibly proud of Limerick, of Ireland and of all the people involved in the campaign. What is more important is the key message of equality and inclusion for the LGBT section of our community in Limerick and Ireland, who have gained equality, inclusion and respect. In that regard we all have won as it has brought us forward on a global platform in the fight for equal human rights for all. This campaign energised and brought a whole new generation of our young people onto the electoral register and into politics and voting for the first time. It’s proof that we can change things. Here is to a brighter future and a new vision of love. One huge step for Ireland, another small step for the world.
Read more about equality here.