PRIDE FLAGS celebrating the LGBT community and Pride Month have been lowered and burned in Waterford city in what has been described as a 'disgusting act'.
As part of the annual 'Pride of the Deise' LGBT+ celebration weekend, rainbow flags were erected across the city in recent days, including outside local authority offices.
On Sunday night, some of the flags, namely those which had been flying near The Mall, were lowered by vandals and burned.
The news was announced by Mayor of Waterford, Fine Gael Councillor Damien Geoghegan, who said it was acts of discrimination like this as to why it was important for Pride commemorations to continue taking place.
"People often ask 'why does Pride take place?'" he wrote on Twitter.
"Here's why. Someone lowered the Pride Flags overnight & burned them."
Mayor Geoghegan went on to say that Waterford is a "warm" and "inclusive" place, and that "the majority of Waterford people will be disgusted by this act".
People often ask “Why does Pride take place?”
Someone lowered the Pride Flags overnight & burned them. The majority of Waterford people will be disgusted by this act.
I won’t be deterred and it’s my intention to replace those flags. Waterford is a warm/inclusive place pic.twitter.com/yZzeFiEwnj
— Mayor Damien Geoghegan (@damiengeoghegan) June 7, 2021
He confirmed that the vandalism will not deter him or the local community from celebrating Pride, "and it's my intention to replace those flags".
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Pride for the Deise festival occurred mostly in a virtual manner over the weekend, with online festivities including workshops, speakers and performances aimed at bringing the LGBT community together.