The sun was shining on the celebrant protestors as they walked and danced through Buncrana, led by a marching brass band. Supporters came out to wave and cheer and one Buncrana local even set up glasses of water to keep the marchers hydrated in the sun.
Councillor Jack Murray, Mayor of Donegal, said: “I’m so proud of the people of Buncrana and Inishowen that this is the first Pride parade in the county. I think it just sends out such a positive statement that this is a progressive, welcoming and tolerant community and that you’ll be welcomed here no matter who you are.
“I’m blown away by the amount of people here and, of course, the good weather helps with the carnival atmosphere but there’s people here of all ages and people are having so much fun. It’s wonderful to see. This is only the first, too. I have no doubt that next year it’ll be bigger and better again.”
Mickey Doherty hosted the event and kept spirits high as protestors prepared to set off on the walk. He said: “It’s an absolute honour to be here today, I’m really privileged and totally overwhelmed! We didn’t have this when I was young and look at all the young children here today. It’s setting the stone for the younger generation and I’m so excited for the future. Things are going to change and it’s happening very fast. People need to realise it’s about being kind and happy and allowing yourself to just be you. You have to make space to allow yourself that.”
New Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Sandra Duffy said: “It’s amazing to be here today but also a bit emotional. I’ve been talking to so many people that it means so much to. It’s amazing to see so many people to come out here to support the first Inishowen Pride and, as someone who has loads of family and friends living in Inishowen and Buncrana, I feel very proud to be involved today.
“Derry is so well organised in terms of Pride and LGBTQIA+ awareness week but I’ve been talking to people today from Foyle Pride who have big plans for the year ahead and I will do anything that I can to help as Mayor of the City and District.”