Thousands of people joined Dublin’s LGBT Parade this afternoon, as part of the city’s first Pride Festival since Ireland’s Marriage Referendum in May.
Thousands of Irish people splashed the city with colour as they marched from Parnell Square, and through Dublin’s O’Connell Street to finish up in Merrion Square.
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar joined the annual parade for the first time since coming out as a gay man.
This year’s Dublin Pride Festival was particularly sweet for those celebrating following the results of last month’s Marriage Referendum.
“I think this Pride is especially significant because of this referendum passing,” a Parade-goer told Independent.ie
“Pride used to be the only day where I felt free but now that the marriage referendum has passed I feel free every day.”
Another Pride marcher said the last few months have been remarkable for LGBT people around the world and in Ireland.
“It’s been an incredible year. To see what happened in the United States yesterday and with Ireland’s huge ‘Yes’ it’s been an incredible couple of weeks and months,” she said.
An Garda Síochána took part in the Pride Parade for the first time.
Politicians who marched in this afternoon’s parade included Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Children’s Minister James Reilly and veteran gay rights activist Senator David Norris.
The festival kicked off on Thursday night with a gig by Samantha Mumba at 4 Dame Lane. It was the 31-year-old singer’s first trip back to Ireland from the US since her daughter Sage was born in March.