Donegal’s first Pride parade to take place

DONEGAL’S first pride parade will take place on the June Bank Holiday weekend to coincide with Pride celebrations taking place around the world.
The event in Buncrana is being organised by the Inishowen Pride Committee which was formed in January of this year.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Organiser Jen McCarron said it has been an especially difficult year for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. She said it is vitally important to send a clear message that hate will not be tolerated following the brutal murders of Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt in Sligo last month.
“Our neighbours in Derry and Sligo have organised celebrations for several years but this is the first in Donegal,” said Ms McCarron.
“Last June, Buncrana came alive with many beautiful displays and rainbow flags to celebrate pride as part of the ‘safe and supportive schools initiative’ organised by Crana college to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. This brought such positive energy to the entire town but especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families.
“It was around that time that the idea of a local pride parade was born and in January 2022 a small group came together more formally to figure out what it would take to really make it happen.
“It became clear immediately that although we are a small planning group there was a huge amount of support and engagement from the broader Inishowen community. Donegal is ready to celebrate Pride and is becoming a place that is truly welcoming for all.”
The parade will start from Scoil Mhuire secondary school on St Oran’s road at 3pm on June 5 and will lead up the Main Street and end at St Mary’s road car park. There will be some staged entertainment at the Market Square following the parade.
Ms McCarron said the positive impact of symbolic acts like flying a pride flag outside homes, businesses, or schools cannot be underestimated.
“This has obviously been an especially difficult year for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. The murders of Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt in Sligo were shocking and cruel,” she said.
“Our hearts go out to their families and friends who have suffered an unimaginable loss. “Unfortunately, aggression towards our LGBTQ+ community has been a problem for a long time in Ireland. We know that LGBTQ+ youth in Donegal and across the country still experience increased levels of bullying in school, rejection by their families and harassment within the community. It is vitally important for us to send a clear message that hate will not be tolerated.
“We need to actively support efforts to make our community safe and welcoming for all members. “The event on June 5th will be one fun way to do this. Inishowen Pride parade will be a positive, family friendly celebration of the importance of LGBTQ+ equality and of the diversity of our community.”
Inishowen Pride is a community group run by volunteers and they are relying on donations to make this event happen and cover expenses associated with organising it.
“We are working to raise funding to cover expenses such as insurance, advertising, entertainment and equipment,” said Ms McCarron.
“If you would like to donate you can to arrange bank transfer or if you wish to donate online on our GoFundMe page ‘Inishowen Pride’. Links to make online donations can be found on any of our social media pages.”
Any groups planning on taking part in the parade are asked to contact the organisers and register in advance by emailing Supporters are welcome to walk in the parade without pre-registering.
Plans are still being finalised and you can keep up to date on the details on Facebook or Instagram @Inishowen Pride or Twitter @Inishpride.

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