Limerick Pride Sligo Vigil – Pictured above are Adam Long, Board Director, National LGBT Federation, Richard Lynch, PRO Limerick Pride, Lisa Daly, Chairperson Limerick Pride, Mayor Daniel Butler and son Jacob and singer Ann Blake. Picture: Kris Luszczki/ilovelimerick
The vigil encouraged all members of the public to show their support for the LGBTQ community during these troubling times
By I Love Limerick correspondent Ava O’Donoghue
A vigil organised by Limerick Pride took place at Arthurs Quay Park on Monday, April 18 to honour the lives of two murdered Sligo men, Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt. Over 300 people attended the event.
These horrific killings follow a series of unprovoked homophobic attacks on the LGBTQ community throughout the country in recent weeks.
The Limerick Pride Sligo Vigil encouraged all members of the public to come and show their support for the community during these troubling times.
Mayor Daniel Butler, and a number of other local politicians were among the turnout at the event, organised by Limerick Pride.
Tributes were also paid to former under-age soccer player Alan Bourke, 48 who was killed in Limerick over the weekend.
Those attending the Limerick Pride Sligo Vigil were asked to spread the word and wear bright, rainbow colours, flags, or paint to honour the memory of Aidan and Michael.
On the day, pride flags were offered to those in attendance so they could hold them up high in support of the community.
“I think all of us are a bit rattled by the murders of these two innocent men,” Richard Lynch, PRO of Limerick Pride said at the vigil. “Violence seems to affect every single one of us in our society regardless of our creed, our sexuality, our race. It’s never right. We just wanted to gather today to say a prayer and think of these two innocent men who lost their lives. Thinking of their families and friends.”
There was a moment of silence to remember, reflect and pray for Michael and Aidan and those who have been affected by hate-related violence.
Adam Long, Board Director of the National LGBT Federation was invited to speak at the vigil.
“I’m at an age where I have witnessed the amazing and enormous progress that has happened in Ireland over the past number of years,” Adam said.
“I think the shocking events of the past week, and also the serious assault of a gay man in Dublin and the many people sharing their stories during the week about assaults and attacks, removes any complacency that homophobic hate crime isn’t an issue in Ireland anymore.”
Allies of the community are being urged to be proactive in standing firmly with LGBT communities and to offer as much support as was done during the marriage equality referendum, as though Ireland has become more progressive hate-related violence is still there.
“This violence is a stark reminder of the violence faced by the members of our community, here and around the world. When tragedies like this happen in our community it reminds us why it’s vital that we have pride, why it’s vital that we fight for full equality, to live freely and safely,” Lisa Daly Chairperson of Limerick Pride said. “We aren’t going to hide; we will not be silenced, and we will not be ashamed of who we are.”
“Homophobia is something that can only be stopped by all of us and can’t be stopped by a small community,” Ann Blake said before performing a rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and ‘Hallelujah’ which those attending joined in song.
Society needs to stand against these hate crimes, show support to the LGBT community and show that there is no place for hate and discrimination in Ireland in 2022.
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For more information on Limerick Pride, go HERE