THE CHAPLAINCY service of the Irish defence forces have released a video in support of the LGBT+ community on what would have been Dublin's annual Pride parade.
With mass gatherings still banned thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Ireland's Pride celebrations were far more subdued than in previous years, but a virtual parade was held and messages of support came flooding in from across the country.
One such message came from the Catholic Chaplaincy Service of the Defence Forces, with head chaplain Fr Seamus Madigan extending the church's support to the LGBTQI+ community.
In the video, Fr Madigan notes that "we are all different, yet united in our desire for happiness, belonging, meaning, making a difference, living a life less ordinary".
"Our diversity is rooted in a deeper unity."
This year would have been the first time the Chaplaincy Service of the Irish Defence Forces marched in Dublin's Pride parade, and Fr Madigan, who was supposed to lead the walk, said he would have been "privileged" to walk "side by side with our LGBTQI+ members, showing solidarity and support".
But while the parade has been called off for now, Fr Madigan used the Virtual Pride Parade to let "all members of the Defence Forces, especially our LGBTQI+ colleagues know that your Chaplaincy Service is in solidarity with you, be you of any faith or none".
"We seek your flourishing and happiness, and recognise that we have much to learn from your gifts, courage and experience of life."
"Wishing you and your families every blessing and all that is good in life. Ní neart go cur le chéile. Take care and stay safe."
Fr Madigan's message came as part of Dublin's Virtual Pride Parade --and while nothing can compare to the real thing, its been lauded as a great success.
You can check out the virtual parade here.