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'DISGUSTING ACT' Gardaí investigate after Pride flags set on fire in Waterford

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan described the incident as "disgusting"

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Mayor Damien Geoghegan raised the flag on Friday. Photo: Mayor Damien Geoghegan.

Mayor Damien Geoghegan raised the flag on Friday. Photo: Mayor Damien Geoghegan.

Mayor Damien Geoghegan raised the flag on Friday. Photo: Mayor Damien Geoghegan.

Flags had been erected in recent days at the local authority's buildings in the city and Dungarvan to mark Waterford's 'Pride of the Deise' weekend, a celebration of the LGBT community.

However, flags outside No 4 The Mall were burned overnight and the council made the discovery after being alerted by security for a neighbouring premises.

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan, who had originally proposed flying the flags, described it as a "disgusting" act.

"It would be a rare occurrence but it goes to show why festivals like Pride matter in the first place, because there are still people who view the LGBTQI community as legitimate targets of hate," he said.

He added that he has set about seeking to have fresh Pride flags flown above the council's offices.

"I certainly won't be deterred as mayor and will be looking to have the flags replaced immediately." he said.

Gardaí are investigating the matter and it is understood will have access to CCTV footage of the incident.

"I don't know the mindset of the people who would do this, it's certainly not representative of Waterford and I really think the vast majority of people would be disgusted by that," Mr Geoghegan said.

The 'Pride of the Deise' festival took place primarily online over the weekend with events aimed at adults and teens in the community.

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