TOP local actor Myles Breen will lead Limerick’s annual Pride parade taking place next month.
Between Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 19, Limerick Pride will bring bright lights and colour to the city, with the various events set to entice thousands to the city.
Centred around the parade on the Saturday and a pride-fest party directly after, the festival will also celebrate Ireland’s resounding Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.
The organisers confirmed actor, director and playwright Myles Breen will be parade grand marshal.
A staunch advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender people, Myles is taking his play, Language Unbecoming a Lady – which tells the story of one gay man’s Limerick life -to New York later this year.
He said: “I am beyond honoured to be asked to be the grand marshal of this year’s parade. Growing up in Limerick in the 70s and 80s, I never dreamed of one day leading a parade through the streets of my beloved hometown in celebration of equal human rights for the LGBT community. It’s a dream come true. I feel my life has come full circle,” he said.
Although the parade is the highlight, there are many other events taking place during the week.
The festival will this year have an educational aspect with workshops held covering topics such as coming out, sexual empowerment, and the creation of social groups for people of all ages, orientations and genders.
For the first time, the Mr and Ms Gay Limerick competition will kick the festival off on Saturday, July 11.
The festival will be launched with a champagne reception at Stroker’s Bar in William Street on the previous Tuesday. And the following day will see a wedding show for same-sex couples.
Metropolitan District mayor Jerry O’Dea attended the launch of Limerick Pride at Dolans.
He said LGBT folk can now celebrate with everybody. “In previous years, people who have participated in Pride have felt that this annual event was their only time to be truly express themselves. Since the passing of the marriage referendum, Ireland’s LGBT population has been joined by the wider population in celebration,” he said.