Belfast Telegraph

PSNI officers to attend Dublin Pride Parade

Dublin Pride flags and umbrellas on Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Dublin Pride flags and umbrellas on Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

PSNI officers and staff will be taking part in the Dublin Pride Parade for the first time this weekend, it has been confirmed.

TUV leader Jim Allister has slammed the move, stating officers "should have better things to do".

The event, which celebrates those who identify as LGBTQ, is expected to attract tens of thousands of participants.

Following an invitation for An Garda Siochana Commissioner Drew Harris, outgoing Chief Constable George Hamilton has given permission for PSNI officers to attend the parade in uniform.

“This will be the first time that officers, in uniform, and staff, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland have taken part in Dublin Pride on foot of an invitation," Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said.

“Over the last few years, officers from An Garda Siochana have participated with us as part of Belfast Pride.

“Pride is an important series of events for those who identify as being LGBTQ and we see this as an opportunity to continue to support, and build upon our relationship with, the LGBTQ community and our colleagues in An Garda Siochana.”

TUV leader Jim Allister, however, condemned the news, stating PSNI officers should have "better things to do".

"Not satisfied with joining this political campaign in their own jurisdiction, now the police service will be attending this event in another jurisdiction," he said.

"I would have thought, given the state of crime in Northern Ireland, the police would have better things to do than this."

Earlier this month, it emerged that one of the founding members of Dublin Pride will not be attending the parade in protest over the inclusion of gardai in this year's event, as well as the festival's media partnership with RTE.

Queer Action Ireland, backed by Dublin Pride founder Izzy O'Rourke, said the inclusion of such groups takes away from the fundamental reason for LGBTQ pride parades worldwide, which is to remember, celebrate and continue to fight for rights.

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