Taoiseach joins thousands as Dublin Pride Parade celebrates 40th anniversary

Taoiseach joins thousands as Dublin Pride Parade celebrates 40th anniversary

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar was among those marching in Saturday's Dublin Pride Parade as the event marked its 40th anniversary.

Thousands took part in the parade, which set off from O'Connell Street at midday before making its way to the Pride Village at Merrion Square.

The march — almost 40 years to the day since the first Dublin Pride Parade on June 25, 1983 — is one of a series of Pride events being held throughout June.

Mr Varadkar was among the marchers in the capital on a glorious Saturday afternoon.

Ahead of the event, the Taoiseach said that despite the celebrations, Pride continues to be about protesting to ensure equality for everyone.

"Pride is a celebration — a celebration of diversity, a celebration of how much our country has modernised and become better in the past few decades, particularly for members of the LGBT community," said the Taoiseach.

Revellers included Alanna C White from Dublin and Pavlo Korotenko from Ukraine (Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie)

"But we shouldn't forget that Pride started off as a protest.

"It's started off in New York, the first time that gay and lesbian people fought back against discrimination, went out in the streets and demanded respect, equality, freedom and to be safe.

"And in many ways, it still is a protest and as a government we're listening to that protest and we're responding in many different ways."

The parade ended at Merrion Square, where a Pride Village had been set up (Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie)

Mr Varadkar revealed he had met with organisations representing the LGBTQ+ community this week to update them on the government's work.

This includes new legislation to tackle hate crime, a plan to disregard the convictions of gay men who were convicted before decriminalisation and legislation to ban so-called conversion practices.

He also promised additional funding for youth organisations and healthcare programme.

Thousands took part in this year's festivities (Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie)

The theme of Dublin Pride 2023 is 'Protest, Remember, Celebrate' — with this year's festival marking important anniversaries within Irish LGBTQ+ history.

As well as celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Dublin Pride Parade, 2023 also marks 50 years since the formation of the Sexual Liberation Movement at Trinity College Dublin.

The group was the first modern lesbian and gay organisation in Ireland.

The theme of Dublin Pride 2023 is ‘Protest, Remember, Celebrate’ (Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie)

Meanwhile, it is 30 years this year since homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland.

Sunday marks the end of the Dublin Pride Festival, the main focus of Pride celebrations in the capital.

However, further events are scheduled throughout the remainder of Pride Month, details of which can be found by clicking here.