Bród na Gaeltachta returns with exciting festival lineup

Bród na Gaeltachta 2023 kicks off this Sunday, July 16, with a fantastic lineup of events featuring Tonie Walsh and Brian Lacey.

People marching in a Pride parade, holding a banner that reads
Image: Brod na Gaeltachta, Brod na Gaeltachta announces its 2023 festival programme.

Bród na Gaeltachta is back for its second annual Gaeltacht Pride festival, taking place from July 16 to 21. Gaelgeoirí from all over Ireland will have the opportunity to travel to Cloch Cheann Fhaola, located in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, and celebrate Pride in true Irish style.

The festival kicks off this Sunday with ‘Cosán Casement’ hosted by historian Brian Lacey, author of Terrible Queer Creatures: Homosexuality in Irish History. During the event, Lacey & friends will retrace some of the steps taken by Roger Casement and other LGBTQ+ figures around ‘Queer’ Cloch Cheann Fhaola and The Hills of Donegal.

The five-day festival will feature a range of cultural events, including a new version of the play Grindr, Saghdar and Cher, which premiered as the first-ever Irish-language play at this year’s Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Along with trad music sessions, poetry readings, hikes and Irish language classes, Bród na Gealtachta boasts some incredible workshops including writing monologues, learning to play the ukulele, and the unmissable ‘Wild Queer’ workshop with Lucy O’Hagan.

Did you know that dandelions are asexual? That pigeons will form gay partnerships? Or that some trees can change gender from one season to the next? If not, the ‘Wild Queer’ workshop will explore how queerness in nature is all around us.

On Friday evening, July 21, historian, activist and archival consultant on the GCN Archive, Tonie Walsh, will deliver the keynote talk, ‘Pride and Protest: 50 Years of LGBT Liberation in Ireland’, ahead of the Pride Parade, which will be held at 3pm on Saturday, July 22.

Pól Penrose, a member of Bród na Gaeltachta, said that the festival gives the LGBTQ+ community a unique opportunity to discover and express themselves through the Irish language. “Tugann sé ardán don phobal LADTA atá ag cur fúthu trí mheán na Gaeilge, más é sin trí aisteoireacht, scríbhneoireacht, craoltóireacht nó cibé rud eile (It gives a platform to the LGBTQ+ community who are living through the medium of Irish, whether that is through acting, writing, broadcasting, or whatever else),” said Penrose.

Penrose went on to argue that the festival is vital for the Gaeltacht’s local LGBTQ+ community to celebrate their identity, community, and language. “Tógadh mise leis an nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht. Sin í mo theanga dhúchasach, mar sin tá sé iontach deas a bheith in ann an ceiliúradh sin a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge. (I was brought up with the Irish language in the Gaeltacht. That’s my native language, so it’s really nice to be able to celebrate that through the medium of Irish.)”

He continued, “Tá sé sin tábhachtach dúinne mar phobal Gaeilgeoirí anseo sa cheantar. (That is important to us as a community of Irish speakers here in the area).”

The festival does not, however, cater only to Gaeltacht locals. Instead, the event appeals to Irish speakers from all over the country. “Tá go leor sa phobal aerach sa tír seo anois atá ag cur fúthu trí mheán na Gaeilge agus tá sé níos deise arís go bhfuilimid in ann iad a thabhairt isteach sa Ghaeltacht (There are many in the gay community in this country now who are settling through the medium of Irish and it is even nicer that we are able to bring them into the Gaeltacht),” added Penrose. 

With film screenings, concerts and much, much more, Bród na Gealtchta 2023 really does have something for everyone.

To find out more about this year’s festival download the programme here or check out the Bród na Gaeltacht website

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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