Northern Ireland

Thousands attend Belfast annual Pride parade

Gay Pride parade
Image caption The parade is taking place in Belfast city centre

Thousands of people have attended the annual Gay Pride parade in Belfast city centre.

Now in its 23rd year, the Belfast parade is claimed to be the largest of its kind on the island of Ireland.

It left Custom House Square at 12:00 BST and made its way through the city centre.

Seán Ó Néill of the Belfast Pride Committee said he hoped this year's event would be the busiest yet.

"Last year we broke records and we are hoping to do it again this year," he said.

"We think people are more engaged this year, because of issues like marriage equality and the blood ban. People want to come out and make statements.

"They want to have fun but they want to make a point as well."

Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford was among those attending the event, which he said was important for the city.

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