One event in the last fortnight really upset me.
It was the Dublin Pride parade where we had an international contingent of gay police from far and wide who proudly joined our parade here in full uniform. Isn't that wonderful? Indeed it is because they saw how we in Ireland treat our guests with warmth and kindness. The unfortunate thing was that we did not treat our own gay officers of An Garda in the same way as they could not march in the parade in uniform, only in track suits and civvies. What every police force in Europe allows our Garda commissioner put a stop to.
Doesn't that send a terrible message to every gay Gard? Where is the respect and dignity to gay officers in a force which was awarded a Gala a few years ago for their gay friendliness.
Has something changed or have the LGBT population missed something recently? What this decree has also done is to throw the increasing confidence that the LGBT population have in the Gards into reverse. It will also encourage gay officers to remain in the closet in case their promotion prospects are diminished.
I say this is a dammed disgrace and it should NOT happen at Pride next year under any circumstances. We should be proud of our Gards and proud of their uniform. They do a very difficult and dangerous job which the whole population should be grateful for no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity.