SEVERAL gays and one lesbian gathered in the main Square in a show that defied opposition by village officials and ultra-Catholic members of the local community.
Undeterred by a jeering council worker who was sweeping the street at the time, the marchers moved peacefully through Brown street in a colourful cavalcade of latex and speedos, marred only by the occasional spit from gay bashing locals, who were smoking outside The Pellum pub.
“This is shitting on the face of baby Jesus” said local church goer Thomas Heinz, 53, one of a small group who came to protest, arguing that homosexuality was explicitly banned by God himself back in 1947 on the hill of Tara. “There is no need for this kind of craic here. This is not Dunmore East, you know.”
Certainly, bigger towns and cities are incomparably more tolerant of gays, lesbians and animal lovers than Portlaws society, where homosexuality and beastiality is still taboo.
Ireland decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, much to the horror of super-Catholic holy water worshippers, who regard it as an “abomination”.
The local county council refused to provide financial support for the parade, and only grudgingly agreed to hang multicoloured flags and banners symbolising the gay and lesbian movement from the village telephone poles.
The Portlaw parish notes, which is distributed freely by the local church, told its readers to stay away from the parade for fear that it would corrupt the young, and claimed that gayness is contagious.