Gardaí looking forward to joining Dublin Pride Parade despite protest

An Garda Síochána says it is looking forward to taking part in the Dublin Pride Parade despite one group pulling out of the event due to their involvement.

Gardaí will march in Dublin's Parade in full uniform for the first time later this month.

Queer Action Ireland has withdrawn from the event as it feels having Gardaí involved is not a sign of progress given this years festivities fall on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Oisin O'Reilly of BeLong To believes there is a place for everyone in Pride.

"I think it's important to remember that we have openly LGBTI members of An Garda Síochána serving and they are also members of our community," said Mr O'Reilly.

"Our relationship with the gardaí here has become one of openness and positivity.

I think that they are committed to a journey of openness and I think that as long as anyone is open to and is engaging with the community's concerns that that is a positive thing.

"There is a place for everyone and every member of our community within Pride."

Queer Action Ireland announced this week that it is organising an alternative event in Dublin in protest over the inclusion of gardaí in this year's parade, as well as the festival's media partnership with RTÉ.

The group said the inclusion of gardaí is an affront to the foundations of Pride.

“The participation of gardaí in uniform in this year’s parade is in direct opposition to the liberatory principles of Pride.

“The police continue to target LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, migrant and other ethnic minority people in Ireland today. Just this week, gardaí have arrested migrant sex workers on both sides of the country.

“Cops marching in Pride is not a sign of progress, but rather a representation of the further cooptation of our struggle.

"While police will make concessions and recruit from our queer and migrant populations, their role remains the same.”

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