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The Wicklow Pride Festival was created by Arklow residents Dave Thomas and his Civil Partner Patrick Bracken in 2015. The event was inspired by all the Pride events that take place in Ireland and around the world.
While Pride marches were initially and, in some cases, still are protest marches, in Ireland they evolved from protesting after the horrific murder of a man in his early 30’s, Declan Flynn in Fairview Park on Dublin’s northside in 1982, to creating awareness of important issues regarding equality, acceptance of diversity and the intolerance of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and plus meaning others) Community.
Dave Thomas has been a LGBTQIA+ activist since the late 1980’s and remembered the murder of Declan Flynn as he lived in Artane just minutes away from Fairview Park.
When Patrick and Dave moved to Arklow, they heard some stories from locals of
homophobic behaviour and that there were no LGBTQIA+ groups or projects in Arklow or surrounding areas. To address this, they created the Arklow LGBTQ
IA+ Social Drop-In Group in 2012 that would meet once a month. This was an informal, private, and welcoming place for all who identified as part of the Community to meet over a coffee, food, and after the meeting to attend a local bar for a drink.
In 2014, Dave and Patrick organised and personally funded the first Pride event calling it the
Arklow Pride Festival. This was a one-day event with music and all sorts of entertainment in Arklow Town Park. This proved to be an enormous success. Based on the feedback, it was decided to broaden out the event to encompass all of County Wicklow.

Committee 2022/23


A festival for and by the LGBTQIA+ community plus everyone else in our towns, villages, and cities. It hopes to make positive changes so that everyone is accepted for who they are in their own homes, towns, and villages. It opposes hate, inequality, racism, homophobia, and any form of discrimination that marginalises any human and segregates them from
mainstream society. It promotes equality for all, inclusivity, and the acceptance of diversity.

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Create awareness of the colourful diversity in our
communities across the county of Wicklow. Also, to promotes inclusivity for all.

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