With a population of more than 1.2 million and a rich arts, cultural, and restaurant scene, Dublin is Ireland's political capital as well as the country's center of gay culture. Each year in mid- to late June, the city celebrates GLBT rights and heritage with the Dublin Gay Pride Festival (known officially as Dublin Pride LGBTQ Festival. The dates this year are June 22 through June 26, 2016, with the Dublin Gay Pride Parade set for the final Saturday, June 25.
Dublin Gay Pride comprises about two weeks of events. Festivities include a Pride Launch Party, Walking Tour of Historic Gay Dublin, Dublin Pride Sports Day, Dyke Night, Dublin Pride After Party, Pride Closing, and several other gatherings and parties. The most prominent day of the festivities is Saturday, June 25, which is Dublin Pride Parade Day. The parade sets off from iconic Parnell Square, at the Garden of Remembrance, at 1 pm. The parade then ends at Merrion Square Park, which from 3 pm onward becomes the site of the Pride in the Park Party. Here's a map of the parade route.
Note that in Northern Ireland, Belfast Gay Pride ranks among one of the top such events either the UK or Ireland - it's held in late July and early August.
Ireland Gay Tours
The venerable tour operator Brendan Vacations (800-687-1002) has created a special custom private-chauffeur LGBT tour of Ireland, a great way to visit the country during Dublin Gay Pride or really any other time of year. The 10-day version of this tour includes time at in Dublin as well as in Waterford, Killarney, County Limerick, and County Galway (where you have the chance to stay at the company's spectacular Ashford Castle, which is part of the same company as Brendan Vacations). However, Brendan can work with you to customize these tours as you'd like, whether you'd prefer to spend more or fewer days, to rent a car, or to include other attractions.
Dublin Gay Resources
Check online resources about the Dublin gay scene, such as the NightTours Dublin Gay Guide and The Outmost GLBT newspaper and website. For tips on gay nightlife and other gay-friendly hangouts in town, refer to the Dublin Gay Bars Guide. Also take a look at the excellent travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Tourist Office of Dublin.