Friday the 3rd of June 202 marked a historical day for Bray Municipal District. Following a motion submitted by myself to Bray MD and successful allocation of Discretionary Funding (which was made available through Local Property Tax Funds), Bray Municipal District for the first time ever flew Pride Flags on Brays iconic seafront.
As Cathaoirleach of the District I will forever be immensely proud of this moment and of our community who came out in strength to mark the occasion. Please see below the speech I gave at the event. Hopefully this will be the start of many events and activities to make the month of Pride into the future.
Happy Pride Everyone X
Pride Flag Speech
"It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone here today to this wonderful occasion. My name is Aoife Flynn Kennedy, pronouns She/Her and I am the Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District. We have gathered here to mark an important moment, the official raising of Pride Flags in our town by Bray Municipal District on behalf of our community for the very first time.
The rainbow flag is now an important symbol with LGBTQ+ people. It first emerged in the late 1970s when Gilbert Baker created the inaugural flag in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It has been argued that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland’s death and her anthem, Over the Rainbow.
However, it’s important to also pause and reflect that we shouldn’t need a symbol like this to remind us that the LGBTQ+ community deserve to be treated the same as everyone else. To see so many of you here today demonstrates how far we have come. A community that embraces quality, diversity, inclusion, and everybody’s right to love, to live and to be treated with respect.
Walking through Bray over the last few days and seeing Pride Flags at The mermaid Arts centre, community centres and local business has been truly heart-warming. Wicklow Libraries will be flying flags and placing flags in the windows of all 13 libraries across the Country as well. I would like to also recognise Bray 4 Love, this group have showed courage and commitment in their efforts to make Bray a safe and inclusive place for all. They have also provided me and others with a space to learn, to better understand issues and most importantly friendship. I wish them every success in their future work and will be there to support them.
I would like to thank our District Manager Lorraine Gallagher, District Administrator Linda Healy, former staff member David Forde and all the staff in Bray MD and my fellow Councillors for their support in bringing this proposal to a reality. I hope that today will mark the beginning of further celebrations building year on year for Pride in Bray and across the whole County. Finally I would like to thank my sister, Aisling Flynn whose challenge as to why Bray was not flying Pride Flags in an official capacity, was the catalyst to why we are here today.
Thank you all again for attending today’s event and I wish you all a fabulous month of Pride. I would now like to call on the following people who will carrying out the task of raising these flags for all to see;
Dave Thomas, founder of Wicklow Pride.
August Cowan & Rowan Cody , pronoun They/Them – representing Bray LGBTQ+ Youth Group
Seamus Greene & Andrew McElroy – representing our amazing community in Bray.
Ian McGahon representing Bray 4 Love
If you would all like to join me now to get these flags flying."