CLARE’S first Pride March is taking place in Ennis this Saturday, as part of a week-long celebration of unity, inclusivity, and love to support the local LGBTQIA+ community.
By Adam Maloney
The highlight of Clare Pride 2023 is the inaugural “Pride March for Unity,” a historic event that will wind its way through the streets of Ennis. Led by the iconic Ennis Brass Band, this march symbolises the unity of our diverse community. Organisers are inviting everyone to join the march on this momentous occasion “as we stand together, proud and unapologetic”.
The Pride March for Unity will culminate in front of glór, where an exciting Open Day will unfold. Featuring music, entertainment, and a diverse array of businesses and organisations dedicated to the values of inclusivity and diversity, this Open Day is a testament to the strength of our community and the importance of coming together in celebration.
Organiser Chris Koble, a New Yorker, who moved to the Banner County in 2021 with his husband after working as an educator for thirty years, tells The Clare Echo, “Our Vision is really to create and promote conditions in which LGBTQIA+ Community in Co. Clare feel accepted, respected, and valued and to then hope to create a diverse and inclusive space or spaces around Clare for our community to thrive and be a part of the community”.
This year’s theme, “Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud,” emphasises the importance of coming together and celebrating our unique identities while promoting acceptance and unity.
QuareClare has been the driving force for the LGBTQIA+ Community in Clare since its launch in 2020, but it wasn’t until 2022 due to COVID where QuareClare could host its first pride event in Shannon. “This year for pride week, we have a whole weeks’ worth of events going on including a celebration on Saturday in glór”.
The event kicked off on Monday at the Clare County Council headquarters in Ennis with a Pride flag raising ceremony, with the flag flying for the entire week. “On Thursday night the ‘big gay table quiz’ will take place at Monks Society in Ennis while on Friday for culture night, a Queer Poetry Slam and Open Mic Night happens in Glór starting at 8pm”.
Clare’s first ever Pride march takes place in Ennis on Saturday, starting at Parnell Street and going through the streets of Ennis to glór. “Then to close out the week on Sunday we have a drag brunch at the Monks Society with Elle Uminati and Miss Bliss,” adds Chris.
QuareClare have been obliged from their support from their partners Clare PPN, the Women’s Network Ireland Clare Office and the Clare Local Development Company. Chris stresses that everyone is welcome to join the celebration and festivities throughout the week.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG), said expressing his enthusiasm for Clare Pride, “I would like to wish the organisers of Clare Pride every success with this year’s festival. The Pride flag will be flying at Áras Contae an Chláir throughout the week as a show of support. Clare County Council is committed to inclusivity and diversity in line with our equality and human rights public sector duty. I encourage everyone in Clare to show their support for Clare Pride and check out the programme of events and activities”.
For more information about Clare Pride 2023 and QuareClare, please visit www.QuareClare.ie/pride23..