For this week’s Moment In Time, we look back to a decade ago when Portlaoise hosted the Mad Pride Family Day.
Mad Pride was held in the Civic Plaza at the Laois County Council on Sunday July 12th 2019.
The aim of Mad Pride was to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health.
Due to the rain, the performers had to stop and start four times throughout the day which ran from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
Despite the torrential rain, Mad Pride not only had a great cause but provided quality entertainment for the people of Portlaoise.
Every act from clowns to acrobats performed for the crowd. The face painters were also a big hit on the day with every child sporting brightly painted faces.
The music wasn’t in short supply with performances by Luke Cosgrove, Novella Hermosa, The Burundi Drummers, Gospel Singers from Nigeria and special guests FRED who came straight from Oxygen festival.
Among the crowd were the Minister for Health and Children at the time, John Moloney TD, as well as then Mayor of Portlaoise Kathleen O’Brien.
The founder of Mad Pride, John McCarthy, was delighted with the event. “The day was organised very well, the music was fantastic.
“The Civil Defense and Laois County Council couldn’t have been more helpful to us.”
John believes people struggling with mental health should be given hope, pride and dignity.
“Society has a responsibility to people with mental health difficulties, to treat everybody as equal citizens. I want to try and get rid of the fear, ignorance and prejudice surrounding mental health.”
Although the showers put a dampner on the event, a great day was had by all in attendance.
You can see Alf Harvey’s photographs of the colourful event below.