Limerick LGBT Pride Parade & Pridefest 2018. Picture: Zoe Conway/ 2018. 

Limerick Pride Parade 2018 and Pridefest is a rainbow of sunshine 

By ilovelimerick Correspondent Baoyan Zhang

Limerick city turned into a sea of rainbow colours on Saturday, July 7 for the Limerick Pride Parade 2018, the flagship event of the festival. The theme for this year is “We are Pride”, celebrating the people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the years to make Pride happen for Limerick.

All of the participants gathered at Limerick City Hall to get ready to walk with pride up O’Connell Street with Richard Lynch, founder of ilovelimerick and the Grand Marshall for the Limerick Pride Parade 2018 leading the way.

“Five, four, three, two, one…Happy Limerick Pride!” engines ready, the Grand Marshall led the parade marching through O’Connell Street followed by the employees from Dell, who was one of the sponsors of the parade, young people from Limerick Youth Service along with cheering crowds, exciting slogans and waving rainbow flags.

Richard Lynch said “I cannot believe that it has been ten years. Ten years ago I was working as a volunteer in pride but now I am leading the parade. It is amazing.”

Flapping the rainbow flag, Mr. Lynch called out “Happy Limerick Pride” and “I Love Limerick” to the crowd along the way of the parade.

“September 2008 was the first year I worked with Pride and that year it became a week-long event which I called I Love Limerick as I wanted it to be integrative and give the music, arts, and culture of Limerick a platform. That Pride was the birth of ilovelimerick, which will officially be ten years old this September,” says Richard.

A 300ft national pride flag carried by marchers was unfurled down O’Connell Street.

Limerick Pride Parade 2018

Richard Lynch, Grand Marshall of the Limerick LGBT Pride Parade & Pridefest 2018 enjoying Limerick Pride. Picture: Zoe Conway/

After the parade, the Pridefest party began at the garden of Hunt museum in the rhythm of cheerful music and pleasant laughter.

The Hands in Harmony Dead Community Choir played a breathtaking performance as the preheat for the Pridefest, while performances by drag queens and the annual tea dance led by Myles Breen brought the party to a festive climax.

Drag queen Ryan Hanton aka Ms. Royal Pain said that the Pridefest was “creating a moment for standing out.”

Limerick Pride Chairperson Lisa Daly and the Grand Marshall, Richard Lynch gave speeches during the party.

“The theme for this year is ‘We are Pride’ as we really want to represent all of our community members, especially for those who first marched down O’ Connell Street with the rainbow flag in 2008, ” said Lisa, “We wanted to make this year a celebration for everyone in Limerick. The parade is a celebration of the rich diversity of LGBTQ community in Limerick, Ireland and the world.”

Drag queen Ms. Royal Pain mentioned that “We are Pride represents the spirit of the whole movement. It’s about being proud and comfortable in who you are no matter who you are.”

Richard Lynch said that he was proud to be selected as the Grand Marshall for the pride this year.

“It’s a beautiful honour for me. Limerick is the city I love. I love Limerick Pride. The pride Parade always makes me sentimental as my mother and father, Florence and Eric, always made sure to come and watch the Parade. They were so proud of me and that motivated me to do the best work I could do.”

Talking about why we are pride, the Grand Marshall stated that more effort still needs to be taken.

“People ask why do we still have Pride since marriage equality was passed in 2015. We have a Pride because there are people in Ireland that still experience hatred because they are LGBT. Especially in the transgendered community. Some people, especially in rural areas, still cannot come out and stand proud because of their personal circumstances. We need to be role models for them, so they know they are not alone. On an international level, people in Russia and other countries are being murdered and executed because of their gender identity, because of their sexual orientation. It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and as an LGBT community, we need to stand together in solidarity,” said Richard.

LGBTQ culture is now becoming more mainstream in Ireland and further acceptance of a gender and sexuality needs to be applauded.

For more information on Limerick Pride, go here

For more stories on Limerick Pride and Pridefest, go here


Limerick Pride 2015 launch at Dolan's Warehouse

Pictured: Mrs Elsie Cox, Myles Breen, Richard Lynch, Mayor Jerry O’Dea and Aladdin Kishk. Picture by: Jonathan Baynes.

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 to Marriage Equality

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.