- LGBT culture in Ireland
LGBT life on the island of
Irelandis made up of persons who are either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender/transexual.
Queer culture & history
The Pirate Queen
Ireland's legendary Pirate QueenFact|date=August 2008 was Gráinne Mhaoil (otherwise known as
Grace O'Malley) from Clew Bay, County Mayo was born in the 16th century. It has been speculated that she may have been bi-sexual. O'Malley engaged in revolutionary activity against the English crown. Her castle at Clare Island was attacked by an expedition from Galway intended to get rid of her. However, they were put to flight and barely escaped. Later O'Malley was captured, but released some time afterward. O'Malley refused to bow before Queen Elizabeth 1and would not recognise Elizabeth 1 as the Queen of Ireland. The well known song Oró Sé do Bheatha 'Bhailewas composed in memory of her.Fact|date=July 2008
Writers and patriots
Ireland and Dublin in particular have always been regarded as the home of some of the greatest gay and lesbian writers in the English speaking world, some of whom are
Oscar Wilde, Eva Selina Gore-Booth, Elizabeth Bowen, Kate O'Brien, Ladies of Llangollenand Somerville and Ross. Indeed many of the patriots who fought for Irish independence were LGBT also such as Pádraig Pearseand Roger Casement.
After independence, Ireland became a very insular societyFact|date=July 2008, dominated by the Catholic church and was conservative, however in the midst of this, there was an acceptance of homosexuality of those within the acting profession such as
Micheál MacLiammóir. It was widely accepted that Micheál MacLiammóir was gay, and that his long time life partner was Hilton Edwards. MacLíammóir would even appear on Irish tv in the fifties and sixties performing in drag. It is because of this that Irish people were never really surprised to see men dressing up as women on tv and even today, one of Dublin's drag queens Shirley Temple Barpresents bingo on prime time national tv. MacLíammóir claimed when talking to Irish playwright, Mary Manning, to have had a homosexual relationship with General Eoin O'Duffy, former Garda SiochanaCommissioner and head of the quasi-fascist Blueshirts in Ireland, during the 1930s. The claim was revealed publicly by RTÉin a documentary, "The Odd Couple", broadcast in 1999. However, MacLíammóir's claims have not been substantiated by any evidence.
Celtic Tiger and civil unions
With the emergence of the
Celtic Tigereconomy from 1995 onwards, Ireland underwent a massive transformation both economically and socially. The individual wealth of the average Irish citizen quadrupled in the space of 15 years along with EUmembership helped to liberalise and make this once conservative and religious society into one that is more open and pro-gay rights with a raft of pro-gay legislation. Ireland once regarded as a European backwater, has now transformed into a multicultural, cosmospolitan and proud island nation. 58% of the Irish population support full gay marriage being extended to same-sex couples while 26% support the idea of same-sex civil unions.Fact|date=July 2008
Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of
LGBTrights, [http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/1021/gaymarriage.html Majority favours gay marriage rights] - RTÉNews] [http://www.glen.ie/press/docs/Lansdowne%20%20Commentary%20241106.doc 84% Support Legal Recognition for Same Sex Relationships] - Lansdowne National Opinion Poll] and most of the political parties have followed suit with liberal or left-wingsocial policy proposals. The Fine Gaelparty supports extending same-sex couples "civil partnership"s [http://www.finegael.ie//PubUploads/sheila%201.htm] . The Irish Labour Partyin contrast favours civil unions as an interim measure to provide equality in advance of a referendum to allow same-sex marriage. There are no elected extreme left or extreme right parties in the Republic — most Irish people are moderates, associating extremism with racism.
According to a recent poll 2008Fact|date=July 2008, 58% of Irish people support full gay marriage while 84% support civil partnerships.
Sinn Féinsupports same-sex marriage, as does the Socialist Party of Ireland.
December 2006the Labour Party reintroduced a civil unions bill which they brought before the Dáil in March 2007. The bill was supported by Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, the Green Party and the majority of independents, however it was opposed by the two Government Parties of Fianna Fáiland the Progressive Democratswhich lead to its defeat. The Labour Party, promised that a bill legalising gay adoption would be on the top of their priorities should they assume control of the Government in the Irish General Election 2007, but they did not manage to do so. In the aftermath of the General Election, the Labour Party reintroduced their Civil Unions Bill, which was supported by Sinn Féin and Fine Gael. The Green Party, then part of the governing coalition, voted against the bill, favouring their continued advocacy for same-sex partnership rights from within the government.
In 2006, at the opening of the new headquarters of the gay rights organisation GLEN in Dublin, the then-
Taoiseach Bertie Ahernsaid:
The only Irish political party that has officially come out in opposition to LGBT rights is the small
Christian Solidarity Party, who has never had an elected representative in the national legislature.
Gay life in the country
Cities & towns
The gay scene in Ireland is quite developed and Irish society has become more open and tolerant as a result of increased levels of prosperity and rising liberal attitudes. Indeed many foreigners comment that for such a small island nation of 6 million, there's so much going on, with vibrant gay scenes in all Irish cities [http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Travel-g186605-c20004/Dublin:Ireland:Gay.And.Lesbian.Dublin.html Dublin] (2
superpubs, 2 gay bars + 13 club venues), [http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Travel-g186470-c59515/Belfast:United-Kingdom:Gay.And.Lesbian.html Belfast] (1 superpub, 3 gay bars + 5 club venues), [http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Travel-g186600-c52621/Cork:Ireland:Gay.And.Lesbian.html Cork] (4 bars + 5 club venues), Limerick, Derry, Galwayand Waterford. There are 8 Gay Lesbian Resource centres in Ireland, 1 LGBT centre in Dublin, 1 LGBT centre in Belfast, 1 gay centre & 1 lesbian centre in Cork, 1 LGBT drop-in centre in Limerick, 1 LGBT centre in Derry, 1 LGBT centre in Waterford and 1 LGBT drop-in centre in Dundalk.
There are also some gay communities in the smaller towns in Ireland.
Strabanehas a gay bar, and Castlebar, Dundalk, Drogheda, Ennis, Newryand Sligohave occasional gay club nights.
All Irish cities and many smaller towns celebrate
Gay Pridewith parades and festivals.The town of Sligowith less than 20,000 inhabitants has its own annual Gay Pride parade and festival and is warmly received and supported by the local population, something which is becoming increasingly common in rural Ireland. It is more than likely the smallest city in the world with its own gay pride parade.
The gay scene across the island of Ireland is brought together during the annual
Alternative Miss Irelanddrag contest and Mr Gay Irelandevents.
t. Patrick's day
Saint Patrick's Dayis another occasion for gays to party, as all of Ireland's ethnically diverse population including the gay community take an active part in the St. Patrick's Day parades and celebrations across the island in cities such as Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Derry, Galway and Waterford.
Each city has its own range of LGBT-themed annual events:All-Ireland
Republic of Ireland& Northern Ireland:
Alternative Miss Ireland- April
Mr Gay Ireland
Saint Patrick's Dayparade & festival
Bingham CupGay Rugby World Cup, June 2008 Dublin: (pop 1.7m)
Mr Gay Dublin
Alternative Miss Philippines
ALAF - Lesbian arts festival- March/April
Dublin Gay Theatre Festival- May
GAZE - Dublin Lesbian & Gay Film Festival- August
Dublin Gay Prideparade & festival - June
Lesbian Lives- international conference - February
World Aid's Day- charity event Belfast: (pop 800,000)
Belfast Gay Prideparade & festival
Mr Gay Belfast Cork: (pop 400,000)
Alternative Miss Cork- February/March
Cork Women's Fun Weekend- May
Cork Gay Prideparade & festival - June
Outlook - Lesbian & Gay Film Festival- October
Lesbian Fanstasy Ball- November
Mr Gay Cork Limerick: (pop 100,000)
*Limerick Gay Pride parade & festival
*Alternative Miss Limerick
Derry: (pop 100,000)
* Derry Gay Pride festival
Galway: (pop 70,000)
*Galway Gay Pride parade & festival
*Alternative Miss Galway
Waterford: (pop 50,000)
*Waterford Gay Pride festival
Gay regional websites
* [http://www.queerid.com Queer In Dublin]
* [http://www.gaybelfast.net Gay Belfast]
* [http://www.gaycork.com Gay Cork]
* [http://www.gayderry.tk Gay Derry]
* [http://www.outwestireland.ie OutWest]
* [http://www.queergalway.com Gay Galway]
* [http://www.gaylimerick.com Gay Limerick]
* [http://www.southgroup.wetpaint.com Waterford sOUTh Group]
* [http://www.gaykerry.com Gay Kerry]
* [http://www.glam.ie Gay Lesbian Action Midlands]
* [http://www.gaywexford.com E.A.G.L.E (Wexford)]
* [http://www.gayclare.com Gay Clare]
Dublin:" [http://www.outhouse.ie OUTHOUSE] 105 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Dundalk: Drop Incentre, 8 Roden Place, Dundalk Munster
*Cork: [http://www.corkgayproject.com The Other Place] , 8 South Main Street, Cork
*Cork: [http://www.linc.ie L.Inc Lesbian Centre] , White Street, Cork
Limerick: " Rainbow Support Services", Mallow Street, Limerick
North Kerry & West Limerick: Support GroupUpper Church Street, Listowel
Waterford: [http://www.southgroup.wetpaint.com sOUTh Drop In Centre] Ulster
Belfast: [http://www.queerspace.org.uk Queer Space] Cathedral Buildings, 64 Donegall Street, Belfast
Derry: [http://www.iol.ie/~nwgay/ Foyle Friend] LGBTcommunity resource centre
* [http://www.gcn.ie Gay Community News (National)]
* [http://www.pingireland.net Ping magazine (Dublin)]
* [http://www.freemag.net FREE magazine (National)] (No longer in Publication)
*Scene magazine (Dublin) (No longer in Publication)
* [http://www.linc.ie/magazine LinC magazine (Cork)]
* [http://www.city.ie City Channel] "Free to Express" Irish LGBT programme
* Pink Parade (Cork) - Every Tuesday, 3-4pm on Cork Campus Radio 97.4FM.
* Pink on Red (Cork) 104–106FM, - Sat 10pm—1am on RedFM
*National [http://lgbtyouth.org/ireland "National Queer Youth Ireland"]
BelongToLGBT Youth Group
*Belfast [http://www.glyni.org.uk LGBT Youth Group]
*Cork [http://www.gayyouthcork.com "Unite*" LGBT Youth Group]
*Derry [http://www.glyni.org.uk LGBT Youth Group]
*Waterford [http://www.southgroup.wetpaint.com "sOUTh" LGBT Youth Group]
*Midlands [http://www.glam.ie "Éist" LGBT Youth Group]
*Wexford [http://www.gaywexford.com "E.A.G.L.E" Youth Group]
* [http://www.gcn.ie Gay Community News (National)]
* [http://www.linc.ie/magazine LinC magazine (Cork)]
* [http://www.gaeilge.ie/directory/entry.asp?toggle=yes&lang=en&id=573 Irish Queer Archive]
* [http://www.glen.ie Gay & Lesbian Equality Network]
* [http://www.glue.ie Gay & Lesbian Unions Éire]
* [http://www.gayhealthnetwork.ie Gay Health Network]
* [http://www.gayhealthproject.com Southern Gay Men's Health Project]
* [http://www.equality.ie Irish Equality Authority]
* [http://www.equalityni.org Equality Commission Northern Ireland]
LGBT rights in the Republic of Ireland
Civil unions in the Republic of Ireland
Civil unions in the United Kingdom
Same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland
Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom
List of gay and lesbian resource centres in Ireland
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