Heroes, not villains, at Cork’s Pride parade

A sales pitch of "hats, flags, whistles, and bow-ties" blared out from the hawkers in front of Bishop Lucey Park.

Heroes, not villains, at Cork’s Pride parade

It could only mean one thing: The annual Cork Pride Parade was about to get marching.

The ninth running of the event took over the city centre yesterday afternoon to create a buzzing atmosphere to accompany the summer sunshine.

The parade circled around from the Grand Parade, attracting thousands to take part, raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBT community and celebrating the annual festival.

A rainbow flag stretching to more than 70 metres was carried by more than 200 people as dancers flanked them and entertained onlookers.

Music rang from the floats and the bars along the route. The participants were led by the grand marshal, broadcaster and social justice campaigner Dil Wickremasinghe.

From the horse-drawn carriage that carried her and deputy mayor Kenneth O’Flynn, she drew attention to the large number of national flags being carried behind her.

Each represented a place in the world where being gay is still illegal.

“Amazing — the flags of countries where homosexuality is yet to be decriminalised,” she said.

The plight of people in those areas was very different to the disco atmosphere that took over the South Mall.

There was strong support from the main political parties ahead of next year’s referendum on same-sex marriage.

These groups were led by a large Fine Gael contingent, followed by Sinn Féin, People Before Profit Alliance, Socialist Party, and Fianna Fáil.

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