Cowardly thugs burn Pride flags in ‘disgusting’ act of hate
The mayor of Waterford, Ireland condemned the “disgusting” thugs who set fire to two Pride flags flying outside council offices.
The people of Waterford were abruptly reminded of the reason for Pride when they awoke on Monday (7 June) to find its rainbow flags had been burned overnight.
The flags were erected days earlier outside the Menapia Building on The Mall to mark the city’s “Pride of the Deise” weekend, a celebration of the local LGBT+ community.
Waterford mayor Damien Geoghegan, who originally proposed the flags, said it was a “disgusting” and “disappointing” act.
“People often ask ‘Why does Pride take place?'” he tweeted. “Here’s why – someone lowered the Pride flags overnight and burned them. The majority of Waterford people will be disgusted by this act.
“I won’t be deterred and it’s my intention to replace those flags. Waterford is a warm/inclusive place.”
People often ask “Why does Pride take place?”
Someone lowered the Pride Flags overnight & burned them. The majority of Waterford people will be disgusted by this act.
I won’t be deterred and it’s my intention to replace those flags. Waterford is a warm/inclusive place pic.twitter.com/yZzeFiEwnj
— Mayor Damien Geoghegan (@damiengeoghegan) June 7, 2021
The council made the discovery after being alerted by security for a neighbouring premises, but by this point the flags had been destroyed.
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Speaking to local news, the mayor reiterated that the incident was uncharacteristic of his community.
“It would be a rare occurrence but it goes to show why festivals like Pride matter in the first place, because there are still people who view the LGBTQI community as legitimate targets of hate,” he said, as reported by the Independent.
“I don’t know the mindset of the people who would do this, it’s certainly not representative of Waterford and I really think the vast majority of people would be disgusted by that.”
He added that he is looking to have the flags “replaced immediately,” and hopes future office holders will continue flying them “to show members of the gay community that they have allies”.
The police are investigating the matter and reportedly have access to CCTV footage of the incident.