The Mayor of Waterford has described the removal and burning of two Pride flags as "a deliberate act of hate against the LGBTQ community".

The flags had been erected to mark "Pride of the Déise" - a celebration of the LGBTQ community in the county.

However, the flags, outside the Menapia Building on The Mall, were burned overnight on Monday.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Cllr Damien Geoghegan said those who carried out this act are not representative of the wider Waterford Community, which is a "warm, inclusive place".

Mr Geoghegan said the matter is now in the hands of gardaí and he is confident that they will get a "positive result" because the area is covered by CCTV.

He said the act came as "a bolt out of the blue" and the flags will be replaced because that kind of behaviour cannot be allowed to take hold.

Mr Geoghegan said: "This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in 2021.

"Pride is celebrated because members of that community still come under attack on occasion so it's important that we do show solidarity, and we do fly flags at Pride during the month of June, and it's my intention to see those flags back on the Mall."

He said he was hopeful that other Mayors will continue to mark Pride weekend by raising Pride flags.