A vigil is planned by Ballyfermot locals who wish to show solidarity with a Catholic church that came under criticism for displaying a rainbow Pride flag.
In a display of empathy with the LGBT+ community, the Ballyfermot Assumption Parish church flew a Pride flag alongside the Irish flag in its grounds last week. When images of the flag were shared on social media, a backlash began with the church receiving messages of abuse online. A group also gathered across the road from the church in protest at the flying of the flag.
The Dublin diocese asked the church to remove the flag, stating a policy against displaying any flags except the Irish flag. The flag has now been removed.
In defence of the church, local Ballyfermot community groups, including the Ballyfermot Anti-Racism Network and the local GAA team, have arranged for a vigil to take place this Friday, June 25th.
In his mass last Sunday, Parish Priest Father Egan delivered a message of inclusion, saying "We are conscious that there are gay men and women who live in our parish and their families and they’ve often told us how hurt they’ve been maybe by the language the church has sometimes used in regard to them and how maybe they sometimes feel there’s no place for them here and they feel excluded."