Pride flags torn down by ‘despicable’ homophobe just days after they were set alight

Pride flags burned

Pride flags in Waterford, Ireland have been torn down for a second time in what has been condemned as a “despicable” act by the city’s mayor.

There was widespread outrage when Pride flags flying outside the Menapia Building on The Mall in Waterford were lowered and set on fire last weekend by “disgusting” thugs. A man in his 40s was later arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

Less than one week later, the Pride flags were torn down once again, according to Waterford mayor Damien Geoghegan.

“Once again it’s my sad duty to report that the Pride flags were cut down overnight and removed from the flagpoles on The Mall,” Geoghegan tweeted on Saturday morning (12 June).

“A truly despicable act,” he said, adding that the matter has been referred to Ireland’s police force.

In a statement, Geoghegan promised that they will raise Pride flags for a third time in the city – and insisted that he won’t be deterred by these acts of hate.

“It’s very disappointing that Pride flags have been targeted twice within the space of a week,” Geoghegan told PinkNews. “We cannot tolerate this type of behaviour in any fashion. Waterford is a friendly and inclusive place and we must all stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community.

“All right-thinking people condemn this action, and I will not be deterred from flying Pride flags in our great city and county. They’re going back up and they’ll continue to fly in Waterford. It’s that simple.”

Waterford Pride wants locals to fly rainbow flags outside their homes

Organisers of the city’s Pride festival condemned the act as “another heartbreaking moment” for the local LGBT+ community.

“Someone has cut down our flags in an attempt to cut down our Pride. This is not possible,” Pride of the Déise wrote on Facebook.

The group urged Waterford residents to show their support for the LGBT+ community by flying Pride flags outside their homes.

“We would love it if you would share a picture of your Pride flag flying!” the group wrote. “If you don’t have a flag but would like one, get in touch!”

Pride of the Déise closed out its post by writing: “Táimid bródúil. Táimid cróga. Ní bhogtar muid,” which translates as: “We are proud. We are strong. We will not be moved.”

Ireland’s police force has confirmed that it is investigating “an incident of criminal damage” in Waterford.

“Gardaí attended the scene at approximately 8.15am this morning Saturday when they were alerted to the incident,” a spokesperson said.