Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Dublin for the city's annual Pride parade.

Among those taking part in the event are members of the Defence Forces who are participating for the first time in uniform.

Former president Mary McAleese and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone were also at the event. 

Government Buildings were illuminated in the Pride rainbow colours yesterday evening and are scheduled to be again today.

Last year, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made history by becoming the first Irish leader to walk in the parade.

Dublin Pride Parade takes place just two weeks after the Government issued an apology to those prosecuted before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993.

Speaking in the Dáil at the time, Mr Varadkar paid tribute to "the unknown heroes, the thousands of people whose names we do not know, who were criminalised by our forbears".

This year's theme is We Are Family, a reference to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland later this year for the Catholic World Meeting of Families.

Among those taking part were LGBT activists protesting against the pontiff's visit and what they claim is homophobia within the Catholic church.

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Participants in the parade also called for same-sex marriage to be introduced in Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015 by popular vote, following a referendum in which 62% of the population voted in favour.

The first Dublin Pride parade took place in 1983 with 200 participants.

Last year more than 30,000 took part in the parade.

It is the second biggest festival in Ireland after St Patrick's Day.