The Irish Consulate in New York is taking part in the annual Pride March in Manhattan for the first time on Sunday, June 24, and is welcoming all who wish to march behind the consulate’s banner in the parade.

A press release issued by the consulate said, “Led by friends at the Irish LGBT group Lavender and Green Alliance, who have flown the Irish flag in the March since 1994, the consulate will come together with many other Irish business, sporting, cultural and heritage organizations to celebrate the diversity of the global Irish family.

“The day will mark a milestone day of human rights progress for Ireland, as it marks exactly 25 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality by the Irish state, and just over three years since Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2015, the same year the Gender Recognition Act was passed to support Ireland’s transgender population.”

Read more: Join IrishCentral live from the Irish float at the New York City Pride Parade

The Consulate team preparing for Pride. Image: Nuala Purcell.

The Consulate team preparing for Pride. Image: Nuala Purcell.

The consulate and Lavender and Green will be at the start of the parade, the third marching group out of 14 sections. There will be an Irish float, and Fiona Walsh, an Irish deejay, will perform. 

Irish Consul General Ciaran Madden is fully supportive of the consulate’s presence in Sunday’s march.  “I take great pride in the fact that, more than ever, Ireland is a place where people can be comfortable being themselves – it’s a simple expectation but it hasn’t always been the case and it is important to celebrate just how far we have come,” he said.

Brendan Fay, the long-time Irish American community activist and founder of the Lavender and Green Alliance, is working closely with the consulate to make the Irish presence on Sunday a large and meaningful one.

Read more: Ireland refuses to grant passport to baby with two mothers

The Irish Pride Parade flag. Image: Nuala Purcell.

The Irish Pride Parade flag. Image: Nuala Purcell.

“This Pride 2018, marking the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, we celebrate the pioneer activists who led the way toward equal rights for LGBT people in Ireland and here in New York. Our theme, Amach le Chéile – Out Together, reflects the more equal and inclusive Ireland we are becoming. We welcome young people who are just coming out and we extend our solidarity to LGBT communities across the world.”

Marchers from the Lavender and Green Alliance will carry an Irish flag stitched by Gilbert Baker, who designed the original rainbow flag in June 1978.

 The Irish contingent will also include members of the New York Irish Center, Irish Arts Center, the Irish Business Organization, the Irish Repertory Theatre, Origin Theatre Company, the Emerald Isle and Aisling centers, and the Brehon Law Society.

Image: Nuala Purcell.

Image: Nuala Purcell.

Vice-chair of the Irish Arts Center Pauline Turley said, “Celebrating diversity and inclusion has been at the heart of the Irish Arts Center’s mission since it was founded in 1972, so we are very gratified to see the Irish Consulate playing a leading role in ensuring an Irish and Irish American presence in the 2018 New York City Pride March, championing that the strength of our community lies in our diversity.”

The consulate welcomes all who are interested in taking part in the march. To register and receive more information, visit https://www.lavenderandgreenalliance.org/events/2018-nyc-lgbt-pride-parade.

The consulate will contact all who register to confirm arrangements. The staging area will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday at 16th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

If you want to lend your support but are unable to attend the parade, you can join us live from the Irish float on IrishCentral's Facebook page  at 1.30pm (EST) on Sunday, June 24. 

The Consulate team preparing for the Pride Parade. Nuala Purcell