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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – For the third year in a row, the Galway Pride flag was stolen during the festivities, but this time the culprits went to great lengths to damage the pole in what organizers see as mass vandalism.

Unable to simply replace him, the activists returned to Eyre Square and photographed themselves carrying ten flags to replace him in a symbolic act of defiance.

At this point, it would be almost surprising if the flag was not a target, noted Galway Pride Committee chairman Councilor Owen Hanley. Unfortunately, this reflects the negativity that the LGBT + community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) continues to attract among certain sections of society.

“We couldn’t get it up because of the damaged pole, but we still wanted to send the message that won’t be scared in the closet – we’re here, we’re weird and we’re not going anywhere,” said the social democratic adviser.

Following a complaint from Cllr Hanley, Gardaí trawled by CCTV in an attempt to identify those responsible. Due to the camera positions, previous attempts to catch the flag thieves have been unsuccessful.

“I feel like it took more than one person because the pole was very stable. This is the only surprising thing about it. This has happened several times in 2019 and twice last year. It almost becomes a very sad annual ritual.

(Photo: The Galway Pride Committee returned to Eyre Square after their man’s flag was stolen and the flagpole vandalized).
This is an abridged preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and find out more about Pride Week, check out this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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