The 49 people shot dead in a gay club in Orlando were remembered on banners and flags at the Dublin Gay Pride parade.

Up to 50,000 people, including non-gays, took to the streets of the capital for a day of dancing and parties.

Aidan Kenny of the Teachers Union of Ireland said he had come along to support all those at the event, particularly after the Orlando shootings on June 12.

Ireland’s gay hero, Rory O’Neill aka drag-queen Panti, said in advance of the event that the parade would have more of a sense of purpose because of what happened in Orlando.

“We don’t need to worry about anything, I don’t think so. This isn’t Orlando, we’re in Dublin,” O’Neill said.

Two years ago, a videoed speech by O’Neill at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in response to events surrounding an RTE gay controversy, garnered over a million page views and was described by Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole as “the most eloquent Irish speech” in almost 200 years.

On Saturday, at the pride march organized by Dublin’s gay community, sparkling drag queens mimed and sang along to the dance music and took selfies, waving and blowing kisses to the crowds below.

Sarah Mulhall from Dublin and her fiancée Anthea Feeney from Sligo got engaged last year, two weeks before the marriage equality referendum. They said they feel a change in the air since the referendum.

Feeney explained, “You feel a lot better walking down the street knowing that your own public support you. Even the little town that I live in, Sligo – it’s tiny – it got the highest Yes vote in the referendum.”

The couple will marry in Sligo in December.

The largest pride festival in Ireland has grown from a one-day event in 1974 into an almost week-long celebration, with arts and cultural events.

This year's theme was “Rebel Rebel” honoring the historic events of 1916 and also paying tribute to David Bowie who died earlier this year in New York.