With Dublin's Pride Festival fast approaching, IrishCentral took a look at how the celebration has evolved over the past half-century. 

Prior to the popularization of the term "Pride" in the 1980s, there were several events calling for LGBTQ rights in Dublin, most notably in 1970 when LGBTQ advocates held a picnic in Merrion Square to draw attention to the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969. 

Four years after the Merrion Square picnic, 10 protestors held Ireland's first LGBTQ parade, marching from the Department of Justice building on St. Stephen's Green to the British Embassy in protest over laws that criminalized homosexuality. 

Ireland's first LGBTQ parade was held five years later between June 25 and July 1, 1979, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 

Organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Federation, Ireland's first Pride week sought to draw attention to the difficulties faced by members of the LGBTQ community in Ireland. 

Almost 1,000 people took part in Ireland's first large-scale LGBTQ protest march in March 1983 following the brutal homophobic murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park in Dublin, while Ireland's first Pride Parade took place later that year on June 25. 

Organized by the National LGBT Federation, the parade saw 200 people march from Stephen's Green to O'Connell Street. 

The tireless efforts of LGBTQ campaigners began to bear fruit in the 1990s when homosexuality was finally decriminalized in Ireland in 1993, while the introduction of the Employment Equality Act in 1998 prohibited discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. 

It took a further 12 years before the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act in 2010, which served as a stepping stone to marriage equality. The act allowed same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships and receive almost the same rights as a married couple but did not change the law on issues relating to children, including guardianship and adoption. 

The marriage equality referendum in 2015 saw Ireland become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, with an overwhelming majority of 62% of voters voting in favor. 

Dublin Castle celebrations after a "Yes" vote on marriage equality in Ireland, 2015.

Dublin Castle celebrations after a "Yes" vote on marriage equality in Ireland, 2015.

Northern Ireland followed suit five years later by legalizing same-sex marriage in the region. 

This year, Dublin's Pride Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary since its first march in June 1983. 

Tens of thousands of members of the LGBTQ community and their allies will flock to the streets of Ireland's capital to celebrate diversity and continue to raise awareness of the issues facing the LGBTQ community.