Former Minister Pat Carey will be Grand Marshall of today's Galway Pride

Former Minister Pat Carey will be Grand Marshall of today's Galway Pride

A former Minister for Equality, who came out this year, will be Grand Marshall at the Galway Pride parade later today.

Pat Carey, who came out in the run-up to the marriage equality referendum, said he was asked on the result day of the Marriage Referendum to take up the honour.

The Pride festival is Ireland's oldest, and expects to see thousands take part in the celebrations in the wake of the Marriage Referendum.

Mr Carey said it is a huge honour.

"I feel incredibly honoured to be asked by them," Mr Carey said. "They asked me on the day of the referendum result.

"I'm not exactly the oldest swinger in town, but I'm certainly - probably - the most recent gay swinger around about the place at this stage .

"I'm enjoying the idea of being able to celebrate with lots of people - straight and gay - in Galway."

67-year-old Mr Carey, from Castlemaine, Co Kerry, served as Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs between March 2010 and March 2011, having previously served in Communications, Transport, and as chief whip.

Mr Carey was in government when homosexuality was decriminalised, and said he is merely "coming in at the tail end of it", paying tribute to others, including Senator David Norris "who soldiered forever" on the issue.

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