By Dean Egan & Kevin Galvin
The Pride Flag in Waterford has been re-raised this afternoon.
Flags put up around the city were burned on Monday morning, causing shock and anger locally.
Waterford’s LGBTQ+ community, Pride of the Deise, says re-raising the flag today shows it is not afraid to be visible.
“To see the flag flying where it should never have left is a really proud moment” said Debbie O’Rourke from the group.
“Being able to be visible in the face of hate is a really important thing to do, because we get knocked down but we stand back up.
“The community is strong here in Waterford, we have solidarity with each other, and we’re able to stand here, but we really think of the LGBTQ+ people of Waterford who wouldn’t be able to stand here and be proud.
“We want this to be a really clear message that LGBT people are part of Waterford communities across the county, and are welcome in Waterford – they will be protected, and we will stand up for their rights.”
Mayor of Waterford Damien Geoghegan says it’s a ceremony he’d rather not have to have taken place.
“It’s a pity that we’ve had to do it a second time, but I think it’s important that we sent out a proper message.
“We won’t be cowed and we won’t be deterred from flying Pride flags here in Waterford.
“Waterford is a very warm and inclusive place, and I just wanted to show solidarity.”