Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to celebrate the city's 40th annual Pride parade. 

The parade started on O'Connell Street at midday on Saturday before moving through the city center and finishing at Merrion Square. 

In beautiful sunshine and a rainbow of color, crowds of all ages thronged Ireland's capital, sporting a wide variety of flags, banners, and feathers. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was among those marching in Saturday's parade along with several other government ministers. 

The parade kicked off a month of LGBTQ-related activities in Dublin, including a Pride Village in Merrion Square and the Mother Pride Block Party at the National Museum of Ireland in Collins' Barracks. 

The 2023 Pride parade celebrated a number of important anniversaries and milestones, celebrating 40 years since Dublin's first Pride parade, which began at St. Stephen's Green and finished on O'Connell Street. 

The parade also marked the 30th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Ireland. Homosexuality was finally decriminalized with the passage of the Criminal Law Bill (Sexual Offences) on June 24, 1993. 

The 2023 parade additionally marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of Dublin's first LGBTQ+ group, the Sexual Liberation Movement. 

Edmund Lynch, who co-founded the Sexual Liberation Movement along with David Norris, was selected as one of the grand marshalls to take part in Saturday's march. 

The 76-year-old campaigner said the LGBTQ+ had achieved a lot in the five decades since the Sexual Liberation Movement was established but added that there was a lot more work to do. 

"The message this year is good because it celebrates both the past, future and the present," Lynch told RTÉ News on Saturday. 

"Now not everyone on it is gay….it's a celebration but Pride today is still a protest. There's still a lot of issues that need to be sorted. There are a lot of issues to be solved." 

Speaking ahead of the parade, Dublin Pride executive director Jamie Kennedy said the annual parade draws between 60,000 and 80,000 describing it as a "well-oiled machine". 

"This year we have taken over both sides of O’Connell Street, we are just that big now," Kennedy told the Irish Independent. 

"We are a well-oiled machine at this stage so there are no radical changes. It takes the first people to walk it about 45 to 50 minutes. It's not a very long march but by the time it’s totally cleared it can take a few hours."