The annual Dublin Gay Pride parade stretched right across Dublin city centre today and, as usual was the largest demonstration of the year attracting an estimated 30,000 people.
Special tributes were paid to Senator David Norris, who this week announced his illness with cancer, at the post-parade festival in Merrion Square, for his pioneering of gay rights and the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.
This year's parade is the high-point of a 10-day festival to mark three lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender milestones - the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Gay Movement, the 30th anniversary of the parade itself and the 20th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland.
The parade, led by a fire engine and charged with the usual exuberance and flamboyance, had as its focus this year the return of LBGT "brothers and sisters" who had left Ireland. The organisers called on people who had emigrated "due to either poverty or persecution" to return to celebrate the "wonderful diverse and inclusive culture of modern Ireland".