See 60,000 people turn Dublin into a sea of rainbows at Pride Festival

Latest: The organisors of today's Dublin Pride Parade say 60,000 people have marched through the capital in support of the LGBT+ community.

That figure is double that of last year.

'We Are Family' was the theme of this year's festival, which saw former President Mary McAleese participate for the first time.

Latest:Former President Mary McAleese is marching in the parade with her son Justin and his husband Fionan Donohoe.

She has also been joined by Minister Katherine Zappone, as well as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's parents.

Mrs McAleese says it's a wonderful occasion, explaining: "I'm so proud of Ireland - we're marching with BeLonG To, and this is the best Ireland I've ever belonged to.

"It's a wonderful expression of what's in people's hearts in Ireland this day. It's fabulous."

Minister Zappone added: "We are living in an Ireland now where it is cool to be gay and lesbian. We are loved and welcomed - we are not shamed."

The full parade got under way at 2pm, with marchers travelling towards Smithfield.

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”.

Pride Festival underway as thousands celebrate in Dublin Dublin's Pride Festival is getting underway with speeches and songs at St Stephen's Green.

Former President Mary McAleese is among those who will be marching in the parade with her son and his husband later.

The organisers of today's Pride Parade say it's a celebration of the rich diversity of the LGBT+ community.

With over 60 floats and more than 30,000 people it is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.

The parade is set to start at 2pm and people have started making their way to the event and are looking forward to the day ahead:

Earlier: Traffic restrictions in place as thousands set to attend Dublin Pride Parade today

Thousands are set to attend the annual Dublin Pride Parade today.

There are two road closures ahead of the parade this afternoon.

Members of the EY Ireland UNITY Network. Photo: Naoise Culhane.
Members of the EY Ireland UNITY Network. Photo: Naoise Culhane.

St Stephen's Green South will be closed from 10am to 6pm, with traffic approaching from Lower Leeson Street diverted via Earlsfort Terrace, Hatch St Upper and Harcourt Street.

Across the city, Haymarket in Smithfield will be closed between 6am and 10pm.

In both cases, pedestrian and local access will be maintained.

The parade starts at Stephen's Green south at 2pm, travelling through the Liberties and across the Liffey - along Cuffe Street, Kevin Street, Patrick Street, Nicolas Street, High Street, Bridge Street, and North King Street before finishing at Smithfield Square.

There are a number of Dublin Bus diversions between 2pm and 6pm and these are posted on their website.

AA Roadwatch has also posted a handy video online with route information for getting across the city.

Gardai are advising that the parade is an alcohol and drug-free event; with only small bags, no larger than A5, allowed into Stephen's Green South and Smithfield Square.

Similar restrictions may also apply at other Pride venues.

People have started making their way to the event and are looking forward to the day ahead:

Government Buildings have also swapped their green, white and gold colours for a rainbow and are being illuminated in the Pride Colours to celebrate the event.

- Digital Desk

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