Dublin Pride

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Flyer advertising the 2008 Dublin Pride parade

The Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride Festival is an annual series of events which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) life in Dublin, Ireland. It is the largest LGBTQ+ pride festival on the island of Ireland.[1] The festival culminates in a pride parade which is held annually on the last Saturday in June.[2] The event has grown from a one-day event in 1974 to a ten-day festival celebrating LGBT culture in Ireland with an expanded arts, social and cultural content.[3]

The organisation, including the board of directors, is run by volunteers with some paid consultant help. The stated aim of Dublin Pride is to produce a professional LGBTQ+ pride festival and an annual Pride Day including the parade through Dublin city centre, a politically-based rally and free entertainment all working for the improvement of LGBTQ+ communities.

1983 parade[edit]

In March 1983, prior to the first pride parade, a march was held from the city centre of Dublin to Fairview Park in the suburb of Fairview, Dublin, protesting the levels of violence against gay men and women in Ireland. In particular, the march was a reaction to the controversial judgement in the Flynn case, when suspended sentences on charges of manslaughter were given to members of a gang found guilty of the 1982 killing of Declan Flynn, a 31-year-old gay man, in Fairview Park, and the subsequent celebrations by some members of the local community following their release.[3][4][5]

The first pride parade was held on Saturday 25 June 1983. The parade was organised by the National LGBT Federation and followed a route through the city centre of Dublin, from St Stephen's Green to the GPO on O'Connell Street, where Cathal Ó Ciarragáin (Dublin Lesbian & Gay Men's Collective), Tonie Walsh (National LGBT Federation) and Joni Crone (Liberation for Irish Lesbians) addressed the rally. Joni Crone rededicated the GPO as the "Gay Person's Organisation".[3]

Pride themes and parade Grand marshalls[edit]

2013 Dublin Pride



A pride parade took place in Dublin on Saturday 4 July 1992.[6]


St. Patrick's Day float[edit]

There was a gay float from the National Gay and Lesbian Federation in the 1993 Saint Patrick's Day in Dublin for the first time. However some rotten fruit was thrown at the parade float by members of the public, the Guards arrested the perpetrator. The organisers won a Recognition Award for the float. There was little objection to the inclusion of the float from the St. Patrick's Day organisors (Dublin Tourism), and most members of the public. An Irish-American contingent disapproved.[7][8]


The Gay Pride parade took place on Sat 24 June 1994. It was the 20th anniversary of the Irish gay movement and 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It was attended by several hundred people. Marchers chanted "We're gay, we're gay" to the tune of Olé, Olé, Olé.[9] The Lord Mayor, Thomás Mac Giolla, met representatives in the Mansion House as part of the celebrations[10][11]

1995: Express Yourself[edit]

Dublin Pride 1995 was on Saturday 1 July 1995. The then Lord mayor of Dublin, John Gormley, launched "Dublin Pride Week", whose theme was "Express Yourself". The Pride started in the Garden of Remembrance and the party was in The Furnace in Aston Place and were MC'ed by Lilly Savage. It was decided to the memory of The Diceman, Thom McGinty.[12]


Dublin Pride 1996 took place on Saturday 29 June 1996.[13]


The 1997 Dublin Pride Parade was on Saturday 28 June 1997, and was attended by over 2,000 people. Organises criticised the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Lynch, for not meeting them before the march, after finding previous pride parades were "undignified". Dublin Corporation gave a grant of £200 for the parade, and flew eight gay pride flags along the banks of the Liffey. The after parade party was in the Civic Offices.[14][15]


The 1998 parade took place on Saturday 27 June 1998, and started from the Garden of Remembrance. The second international Dyke March took place on Friday 26 June. The organisers met the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Ireland's first Queer Debs Ball took place in Russell Court Hotel in Harcourt Street on Monday 22 June. The RHA Gallery displayed an exhibition of gay and lesbian gay. A gay ceili took place on Tuesday 23 June in the Russell Court Hotel.[16][17][18]


The 1999 Dublin Pride parade took place on Saturday 26 June 1999, and went along O'Connell Street. Stephen Gately, singer in famous Irish boy band Boyzone had come out publicly shortly before the parade, and was discussed in the media at the time.[19][20]



The 2000 Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride March took place on Saturday 24th June 2000, and was attended by 6,000 people. Panti MC'ed the after party, which included performances from Shirley Temple Bar. Marching groups included Gloria, OUTHouse, and Greenbow, a gay and lesbian deaf group, which was their third year in the parade. Events raised funds for OUTHouse and HIV Respite Unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital[21][22]


The 2001 parade took place on the weekend of 30 June - 1 July and was attended by 6,000 people. Gardai reported no problems. It was at the end of a 2-week Gay Pride Week.[23][24][25]


2002 Dublin pride took place on 19 June 2002, and was attendeed by 6,000 people. The Dublin Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade starts on Parnell Square at 2 pm and finishes at the Civic Offices amphitheatre on Wood Quay, where it was followed by the "Pride in the Park" party from 3-6 pm.[26][27]


The 2003 pride was a celebration of 10 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland, however, attendees were campaigning against the lack of state recognition of same-sex relationships, with the slogan "Legal Ten, Equal When". The parade took place on the weekend of 5–6 July 2003.[28]


The 2004 parade was held on 3 July 2004 and went from Parnell Square to the Civic Offices at Wood Quay for a free party. There was no trouble, except for a little bit of rain, despite recent robberies targeting gay men. About 3,000 people took part, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dublin Pride.[29][30]


The 2005 parade was held on 25 June 2005, and was attendeed by 10,000 people. BeLonG To, the LGBT youth group, took part, along with the usual music, dancing and celebration. The parade was led by an international group waving flags of various countries.[31][32]


The 2006 parade was held on 24 June 2006, and featured members of political parties, such as Labour and Sinn Féin. About 6,000 people took part. Panti led the post-parade party in the Civic Offices, which featured performances by Shirley Temple Bar, Alternative Miss Ireland winner Joanna Ryde, and Stellar Sound.[33][34][35]

2007: "Pride n' Joy"[edit]

The theme of the festival was "Pride n' Joy", emphasising the use of celebration as a positive medium to get a message across and to increase the visibility of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. The grand marshal was Senator David Norris, and it took place on 23 June 2007, with thousands of attendees[36][37][33]

2008: "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride"[edit]

Grand Marshal – Tonie Walsh

Using the slogan "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride", the 2008 theme highlighted the lack of legal recognition under Irish law of any partnership rights for same-sex couples. The festival was launched by then Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley, TD.[38] Gormley recognised that the proposed partnership legislation was "not the full equality we are seeking, but it is a step towards full equality," and "of real practical value in itself and will make a real difference to the daily lives of many people in committed relationships".[39] Performers at the post-rally gathering included Brian Kennedy, Maria McKee and Tara Blaise.[40]

2009: "Pride and Prejudice?"[edit]

The 2009 festival was held 19–28 June.[41] The theme for 2009 was "Pride and Prejudice?" which celebrated pride in the LGBT communities while questioning the community and society in general on attitudes and prejudices. The festival aimed to celebrate diversity and challenge peoples' perceptions of it. This year introduced Dublin Pride's new Arts and Cultural committee to the festival. Turnout figures were estimated at a record 12,500. Performers at the traditional post-parade show at the Civic Offices, hosted by Panti, included, among others, Black Daisy (Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest 2009 entrant), Michele Ann Kelly, Laura Steele, the Kylie Experience, and Katherine Lynch Senator David Norris was Grand Marshal.


2010: "We Are Family Too"[edit]

More than 22,000 people marched through Dublin on 26 June 2010.[42] Doctor Lydia Foy was grand marshal.[42] Performers at the Part in the Park at the Civic Offices included DJ Jules in a Lady Gaga tribute act and Niamh Kavanagh, winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1993 who represented Ireland in the Contest again this year. Over 100,000 people participated in the 2010 ten-day Pride festival.

2011: "It's a Human Thing"[edit]

With a Garda estimate at over 22,000, more people marched through Dublin on 25 June 2011 than ever before. Michael Barron of BelongTo Youth services was Grand Marshal of the parade. Performers at the event in the Civic Offices included Crystal Swing and Niamh Kavanagh, winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1993 returning to perform for a 2nd year in a row. This year seen the introduction of a new event, a Dog Show which was produced as part of the family fun day.

2012: "Show your True Colours"[edit]

The 2012 festival ran from 22 June until 1 July 2012 with the Parade running on Saturday 30 June. That year saw the festival move from Dublin City Council's Civic Offices on Wood Quay to Merrion Square using three of the four roads around the park and family areas available to use inside the park. It also involved the parade route moving from its traditional route along Dame Street to further south in the city, along Baggot Street to the final destination Event at Merrion Square. The new venue has capacity for up to 15,000 people and space for vendors to sell food and beverages to the public. Panti Bliss was Grand Marshall of the Parade.

2013: "Live, Love, Be Proud"[edit]

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the parade and the event has grown to be the second largest parade in Ireland, behind the Patrick’s Day event. The parade began at the Gardens of Remembrance on Parnell Square and wound its way to Merrion Square.

The parade was disrupted on O’Connell Street shortly after it began this afternoon when a small number of protesters stood in front of the Labour Party bus which was taking part in the parade and stopped it from going any further. The protest, which is believed to have been an anti-property tax and anti-government protest, lasted around ten minutes.

Grand Marshal this year was Anna Grodzka, a transgender MP from the Polish parliament.

2014: "Freedom"[edit]

Grand Marshal this year was Colm O’Gorman, director of Amnesty International Ireland

The parade started at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, making its way by Trinity College and finishing at Merrion Square. This year the Garda band, in uniform, led the parade through the streets of Dublin.

2015: "The Future Is Equal"[edit]

The parade took place on 27 June 2015.

2016: "Rebel Rebel"[edit]

The parade took place on 26 June 2016. Max Krzyzanowski was Grand Marshall.

2017: "Find your Inner Hero"[edit]

The festival ran from 19 June to 24 June with the parade taking place on 24 June 2017. That year saw a complete overhaul of the parade route due to extensive works to expand the Luas in the city centre with the parade starting at St. Stephen's Green and finishing at Smithfield Square in North Dublin, the new location for the final destination event. History was made this year when Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, became the first Irish Leader in office to attend the festival. Moninne Griffith of BeLonG To was Grand Marshall of the parade.


The festival ran on the final week in June with the parade taking place on 30 June 2018. The theme being "We are family" and Sara Philips from Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) was Grand Marshall.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Dublin Pride. Archived from the original on 25 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride Festival Archived 11 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c John Burke (6 August 2008). "Out at last!". Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 13 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Gay rights campaign breaches many barriers, but battle is far from over". Irish Examiner. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Declan Cashin (21 June 2008). "Queer times". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Gays and Lesbians planning parades". Irish Independent. 17 June 1992. p. 6.
  7. ^ Khan, Frank (18 March 1993). "Man held after eggs and fruit thrown at gay float". Irish Independent. p. 4.
  8. ^ Carey, Mareaid (18 March 1993). "Award goes to first gay float". Irish Press. p. 7.
  9. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (27 June 1994). "Dance, chants and glamous galore at colourful gay and lesbian parade". The Irish Times. p. 6. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Lord Mayor meets gays and lesbians". The Irish Times. 22 June 1994. p. 2. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  11. ^ Meany, Helen (28 June 1994). "The whiff of a good story". The Irish Times. p. 10. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Pride and prejudice". The Irish Times. 1 July 1995. p. 34. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Havel calls for a Europe which is united by moral purpose". The Irish Times. 29 June 1996. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. He will narrowly miss clashing with the opening parade of National Gay and Lesbian Pride Week, which starts at 1 p.m. A spokesman for the parade said President Havel, a supporter of gay rights, had been invited.
  14. ^ Humphreys, Joe (30 June 1997). "Parade to celebrate gay sexuality adds splash of colour to drab day". The Irish Times. p. 3. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Mayoral snub for the royals". The Irish Independent. 1 July 1997. p. 35.
  16. ^ Fahy, Declan (20 June 1998). "Dublin gay festival starts". The Irish Times. p. 3. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  17. ^ Duffy, Jim (28 June 1998). "Viva los divas as Dublin goes gay". Sunday Independent. p. 45.
  18. ^ "A gay day out in Dublin". Irish Mirror. 29 June 1998. Archived from the original on 13 December 2006.
  19. ^ "(Photo of Gay Pride Parade)". The Irish Times. 28 June 1999. p. 5. Retrieved 24 August 2016. Participants taking part in the Gay Pride parade in O'Connell Street, Dublin, on Saturday
  20. ^ "Despite Gately, coming out still hard for gays". The Irish Times. 19 June 1999. p. 10. Retrieved 26 August 2016. The Gay Pride March takes place in Dublin next Saturday
  21. ^ Kelly, Olivia (26 June 2000). "6,000 join in the pride of Dublin's merriest gay march". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  22. ^ Robinson, Stephen (22 June 2000). "Pride, Eyed And Legless". Hot Press. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  23. ^ Minihan, Mary (2 July 2001). "Irish gay culture parades its pride". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  24. ^ O'Keeffe, Cormac (2 July 2001). "Thousands take part in Gay Parade". Irish Examiner. p. 40. More than 6,000 people took to the streets of Dublin at the weekend
  25. ^ "Thousands take pride in Gay Parade". Dublin Pride. Archived from the original on 10 August 2003.
  26. ^ McNally, Frank (29 June 2002). "6,000 likely to join gay pride march". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  27. ^ O hUltachain, Ciaran (28 June 2002). "Reclaim The Streets With Dublin PRIDE". Indymedia Ireland. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  28. ^ Haughey, Nuala (7 July 2003). "Lesbians and gays whip up a storm on Dublin streets". The Irish Times. p. 4. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Heavy rain fails to dampen Dublin Gay Pride". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  30. ^ McConnell, Daniel (5 July 2004). "3,000 take part in Dublin gay pride". The Irish Times. p. 5. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  31. ^ Bracken, Ali (27 June 2005). "Out and About: annual Dublin Gay Pride parade attracts almost 10,000". The Irish Times. p. 7. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  32. ^ Meredith, Fionola (25 June 2005). "Coming out together for the carnival". The Irish Times. p. 106. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  33. ^ a b "Thousands attend Gay Pride parade". The Irish Times. 23 Jun 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  34. ^ Bracken, Ali (26 June 2006). "Revellers celebrate diversity on streets of capital". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  35. ^ "Colourfest for Gay Pride Parade". The Irish Times. 25 June 2007. p. 7. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Colourfest for Gay Pride parade". The Irish Times. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  37. ^ "Dublin to announce Gay Pride festival". The Irish Times. 8 Jun 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  38. ^ Press release from Marriage Equality Archived 6 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ "Gormley hints at Coalition strain on same-sex legislation". The Irish Times. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  40. ^ "Gay pride on Dublin's streets". The Irish Times. 28 June 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ a b Thousands take part in Dublin Pride Parade. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 26 June 2010.

External links[edit]