Preparations continue for Dublin Pride Parade
By Cian O'Connell
“It is fantastic to see the GAA living up to the values it is founded on, particularly inclusivity, community identity, and respect - they are three of the six core values the GAA is founded on,” Meath referee David Gough’s says about the GAA’s decision to be officially represented at this year’s Pride Parade on June 29.
Gough will lead the 100 strong GAA delegation which will also include members from the Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association.
Official Dublin Pride Festival wristbands must be worn by the participants, who are gathering at the GAA Museum on June 29 at 12pm.
Last month’s announcement that the GAA would be involved encourages Gough significantly. “This is a watershed moment in Irish history for the GAA to be taking part in the Pride Parade,” Gough states.
“It is wonderful to see that I can now stand to represent two very distinct communities in Ireland, who may not have had the easiest of relationships in the past.
“Now for the first time in the 36 year history of Pride I can feel comfortable walking and taking part as a member of the GAA and as part of the LGBT community.”
Following an emotional appearance on RTE’s Late Late Show, Gough has been delighted with the response to his own story. “There has been a hugely positive reaction to the interview on the Late Late show on both a personal level and on a level as a referee,” Gough admits.
“I suppose people don't often get to see referees speaking in public, but certainly my story was very personal. The response has been overwhelming, the messages of support coming on all forms of social media has been hugely positive. It reflects very well on the GAA as a result.”
Gough praised the central role occupied by GAA President John Horan, who also supported the LGBT community at Congress in February.
“There was a lot of talk in the background for the past few months with John Horan, who I know is a huge supporter of the LGBT community,” Gough replies.
“He put certain things in place and there really needed to be a visible, tangible display of that support. The Pride march is the biggest thing the GAA could get involved in so it is absolutely fantastic because I've never walked in Pride before.
“I've never felt that I belonged there because I didn't have any particular group I would be associated with within the LGBT community. So I am so happy now to have the opportunity to walk in it with the GAA community.”
Gough is urging people to walk in the parade in Dublin on June 29. “I would love to see a huge support from people within the LGBT community and our straight allies to get out to walk in the parade in their county or club colours - whatever they feel comfortable with,” Gough adds.
“It is important to show the GAA community that there is an LGBT aspect to the GAA and we are very happy to lend our support to those in the GAA community.”
Former Cork Ladies Footballer Valerie Mulcahy also believes it is a positive step that the GAA will be involved.
"The GAA community and the family of the LGFA, the Camogie and the GAA is a place to belong and it's where we belong,” Mulcahy comments.
“It is open arms for everyone so I think we just wanted kids and adults to see that it is and put that into action. What better way than walking in the Pride parade."
If any of our members wish to participate in the GAA section of the parade they are requested to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will subsequently contact them with the various arrangements.**