RAINBOW flags flew over Bishop Lucey Park this evening, as a crowd of some 500 members and allies of Cork’s LGBTQI+ community gathered for a vigil to remember Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, two gay men killed last week in Sligo.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, welcoming those gathered in what is also known as the People’s Park, said Cork is an inclusive city, and Ireland is a progressive country where there must be no place for hatred.
“This is just a small show of solidarity from the people of Cork for the lives of Michael and Aidan,” he said, before leading a minute’s silence.
“Cork is a rainbow city; we became the first local authority in the country to fly the rainbow flag over a civic building, and it’s apt that we are here in the People’s Park, because this park represents all the people,” Cllr Kelleher said.
The vigil was organised by the Gay Project, LINC and Cork Pride, and Ailsa Spindler, co-ordinator of the Gay Project, said it was only two-and-a-half years since Timmy Hourihane was killed in a homophobic attack in Cork.
“That brings it home that homophobia, transphobia, hate, bigotry, is all around us, and we all have a duty to fight it, to call it out when we see it, and to be allies to those members of our community who are marginalised for whatever reason,” Mr Spindler said.
Kate Moynihan, CEO of Linc, said it was a sad occasion, but the turnout was very welcome.
“We thought these homophobic attacks were behind us, but it is good to see so many here in solidarity with us,” she said.
Clive Davis, chair of Cork Pride, said solidarity with Cork’s LGBTQI+ community was heartening.
“That solidarity should be remembered every single day, not just on the bad days, because we shouldn’t have to gather like this,” Mr Davis said.
Senator Jerry Buttimer said it was important the advances of recent years be strengthened.