Newry.ie

The Pride in Newry Parade and Festival will be taking place once again in Newry in September. Today saw the launch of the festival in Bellinis in the city.

The Festival takes place from Sunday 26 August to Sunday 2 September with events taking place every day during a jam packed pride week. Highlight of the pride week once again will be the Pride in Newry Parade on on Saturday 1 September 2018.

Community Diversity

Rory Rafferty, Chairperson, Newry Rainbow Community commented "Now in it's seventh year the parade and following free outdoor festival and concert showcases the diversity of communities and cultures in Newry and surrounding areas. This enables us to increase the visibility and portray LGBTQI people in a positive way in all aspects of the wider local community and civic life and provide a truly inclusive family festival for everyone.

Launching Pride in Newry 2018. From left: Rory Rafferty, Chairperson, Newry Rainbow Community; Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission NI and Cllr Mark Murnin, Chairman, Newry, Mourne and Down Council. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Launching Pride in Newry 2018. From left: Rory Rafferty, Chairperson, Newry Rainbow Community; Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission NI and Cllr Mark Murnin, Chairman, Newry, Mourne and Down Council. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

"The festival is a major yearly undertaking for the entirely voluntary dedicated team involved and as you'll apreciated throws up many challenges. We are enourmously grateful for the continued local support and genorosity we have enjoyed over the years. The overwhelming and continued success of Pride in Newry could not have continued to happen without the support of local businesses, trade unions and people. We are sincerely grateful to all those who have been associated with and contributed to that success since conception in 2012.

"This support was recognised for the first time at the sold out Pride of Newry Gala event last year which saw 60 nominees and 12 categories voted for by the public.

Carnival of Colour

The Pride in Newry Parade will sing and dance it's way through the heart of Newry featuring floats, music, samba band and walkabout interactive circus performers. The parade will bring a carnival of colour, sparkle and magical atmosphere to the streets of Newry city. Following the parade there will be an afternoon of family entertainment, including fun fair attractions and a major free outdoor concert with the very best of talent and entertainment from across the island of Ireland. Truly something for everyone.

The NRC Chairperson concluded by thanking Newry, Mourne and Down Council for their support over the past seven years.

Cllr Mark Murnin, Chairman, Newry, Mourne and Down Council added "I'd like to thank the NRC for all the work that they do in bringing this festival to the city of Newry. As Newry, Mourne and Down Council we have ambitions for the city of Newry to turn it into a vibrant inclusive city that everyone can be proud of, and having the festival here - All major cities throughout the world have pride festivals. It's one of those important festivals we have within our district. Also for our corporate plan we want to become a premierre tourism destination, pride again falls into that as well. Our thanks to all who run it, we are proud to support it and wish you a very successful day on 1 September.

All of us are born as Rights bearers

NRC members and visitors at the launch of Pride in Newry 2018. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
NRC members and guests at the launch of Pride in Newry 2018. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Also attending the launch was Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland  who spoke of rights  "When you see rights as something that are given, something that are ceeded, something that are earned, you have entirely the wrong approach. When we are born all of us are born as rights bearers. What happens is that governance and societies hold back those rights, so to say government granted rights to gay people is wrong, it's the incorrect use of the English Language. But when you are in a mindset that we gave them this - We gave them civil partnership and now they want marriage. So you've got to understand a mindset that sees everything as rights been given and not rights being recognised. So we still have a job of work to try to educate people that rights are not earned, they're not paid for, they can be withheld but they're certainly not granted or given in some magnamous way. And yet that tends to be a dialogue when I engage people around LGB, - Here they are again flaunting it in front of us"

Dr Wardlow concluded "Pride in Newry, this is the seventh one we have been involved in. I'm delighted to be involved, for Rory and all those people, the councils that have supported this. We had a debate this morning about a flag in ABC Council. Do you know if that's all we are arguing about, we have actually moved hugely forward and sometimes in this endeavour to get where we want to go we've forgotten where we have come from. I'm only encouraging you to look back to 1990 when the World Health Organisation saw homosexuality as effectively a disorder, and that's not very long ago. So be encouraged. I think doing what you do is fantastic in a place I know well and love well. We are delighted to be involved. Keep up the Pride."

 

 

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