Millmount welcomes LGBTQ support group to open Drogheda Pride Weekend

Closing it in Millmount Tower, a crowd gathered to watch Rebecca Tallon de Havilland and Drogheda Mayor, Mitchell Hall officially open Drogheda Pride, 2022.

In an intimate gathering, the Gol Minar was decorated with proud flags hanging from the ceiling and the colors of pride on the walls.

Others in attendance included Clerk Sharon Keogh, Clerk Joanna Byrne, Ann Garda Siochana and Outcomers Drogheda.

LGBTQ support manager Peter James Nugent inaugurated the ceremony ahead of the weekend, saying, “Pride isn’t a celebration, it’s a march.

“Today is the day we officially open Pride where we have many different events for the weekend.

Drogheda mayor, Michelle Hall, said: “There’s going to be a lot of fun in Drogheda this weekend, and McHugh’s Pub is definitely the place to be.

“In 2019 we celebrated our sister-in-law’s marriage to her long term girlfriend. And her girlfriend’s goal was to marry her before she turns 60 and she just nailed it. It’s not easy for that generation to come out as gay. There was no pride parade, no equal marriage rights, gay slurs were part of our everyday vocabulary and so many people turned away from Drogheda that they wanted to be without the judgment of family and friends.

“The tide was turning and the Catholic Church was losing its anchor on the people and we took a Christian stance instead of loving each other.

“Trans rights are being advocated at the moment, so I am delighted that Cameron Brown, Trans Youth, will lead our parade tomorrow.

“When we in Drogheda display our flags through businesses and organizations, it is saying that Drogheda is a safe place to be whatever you want to be.

“We don’t have any trends in Drogheda or any homophobic violence, and this could continue for a long time.

Mayor Hall said she believed Drogheda would have its own Pride Crossing in the future, and would continue to support Clerk Joanna Byrne’s proposals on this, which were recently rejected by Louth County Council. was.

Rebecca, who was born in County Longford, was invited by Peter to inaugurate the ceremony, saying she knew from a very early age that she was a girl.

“I fought many battles to get here. I learned that my family lives in Drogheda, and lived here for many years.

“I walked these streets alone as Rebecca, and I walked the streets of Dublin alone as Rebecca, it didn’t stop me, it didn’t stop me. I tried to take my life three times just to be myself.

“I fought the hardest and stood here today all I wanted. It’s taken me over 30 years to hold my head high.

While in London, Rebecca said people were crying out to help the trans community to return home.

“I was in my comfort zone in London and thought, why should I come back here where I have been so abused. But I had heard things, and I had to return.

“We need support, we need allies, and we need help, and we need to help the kids, too.”

Clar Joanna Byrne, who attends the opening ceremony of Drogheda Pride every year, said, “As an Irish Republican, at the core of everything I represent is equality. I truly believe that every person in our society is entitled to equality of rights under the law and in fact in every day life, regardless of their background, their sexual orientation or their gender.

“It’s a great way to send a message that we all stand strong here and in this together. The elephant in the room today is clearly crossing the rainbow. I think everyone here has fought about Rainbow Crossing. And also heard about the U turn from the council that we had with regards to the life-size rainbow letters Drogheda to deliver this weekend. Being gay, being a trans member or being gay Being you, you face adversity all the time. It’s just another knock, but we will overcome it.

“I don’t think it’s anything sinister on the part of the council that it wasn’t granted, I’m not going to defend them, it’s up to myself to do so. I think it’s a lack of innovation and foresight But I can assure you that I am committed to watching the rainbow cross in this city.

The ceremony culminated with Peter, Rebecca and Meyer Hall raising the proud flag to the top of Millmount Tower.