Thousands celebrate Pride in Dublin
Government Buildings has been illuminated in the Pride rainbow colours.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Dublin for the city’s annual Pride parade.
It is the culmination of a three-day celebration which started on Thursday in the Irish capital.
The colourful celebrations came just weeks after the Irish Government publicly apologised to the men who were convicted under old laws which outlawed intimate homosexual relations.
Government Buildings was illuminated in the Pride rainbow colours on Friday evening and was scheduled to be again on Saturday.
Last year, Leo Varadkar, the first openly gay Taoiseach, made history by becoming the first leader of Ireland to walk in the parade.
Former president Mary McAleese, along with her family, and children’s minister Katherine Zappone were spotted at the event which for the first time included members of the Defence Forces taking part in uniform.
Irish health minister Simon Harris sent out good wishes to all involved.
In an online message, he said: “Happy Pride everyone! Have a great day celebrating equality, inclusiveness and love” along with hashtags including “loveislove,” “dublinpride” and “equality”.
Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, who is in Dublin as part of his music tour, had earlier tweeted that he was “really proud to end our tour in Dublin on such a special day. #DublinPride @PrideDublin”.
This year’s theme is We Are Family, a reference to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland later this year for the Catholic World Meeting of Families.
Among those taking part were LGBT activists protesting against the pontiff’s visit and what they claim is homophobia within the Catholic church.
Participants in the parade also called for same-sex marriage to be introduced in Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015 by popular vote, following a referendum in which 62% of the population voted in favour.
The first Dublin Pride parade took place in 1983 with 200 participants.
Last year more than 30,000 took part in the parade.
It is the second biggest festival in Ireland after St Patrick’s Day.