Cork bar Chambers issues apology following huge backlash from LGBTQ+ community

The apology comes after the venue faced backlash for removing all Pride decor and cancelling weekly drag shows.

People protesting against Chambers, who issued an apology today, with many holding rainbow flags and umbrellas.
Image: Avril O'Sullivan

Chambers bar in Cork city has issued an apology after facing backlash due to its abrupt rebranding, which saw the name changed to Sinners, all Pride flags and other LGBTQ+ decor removed, and weekly drag shows cancelled.

Earlier in September, Cork’s only remaining LGBTQ+ bar, Chambers, allegedly eradicated all symbols of queer inclusivity, including posters of the drag queens who were scheduled to perform in the venue before their shows were cancelled.

Local patrons noted that this rebrand corresponded with UCC Freshers’ Week, when students return to University College Cork, and many suspect the bar is trying to maximise its profits by appealing to a wider population of straight customers.

After drag performer Krystal Queer shared a video on Instagram detailing the changes made in Chambers, the bar faced huge backlash online. Moreover, hundreds of people gathered in the city centre of Cork to peacefully protest the loss of the city’s only remaining venue for the LGBTQ+ community.


Today, September 29, management at Chambers took to Instagram to issue an apology, writing: “Margaret here, I want to apologise for the upset caused by our actions during freshers’ week. My team in Chambers always try to offer the best service and a safe space to all our customers, but I failed this time, I got it wrong.”

While the statement didn’t openly address the LGBTQ+ community, it read: “It was never my intention to alienate anybody. I realise I offended and upset many of our loyal and regular customers and I am very sorry. I should have handled this better. We are all aware of what happened, and I have learnt from it and I will take extra care in the future.

“As an additional apology, we are running a weekend long promotion in Chambers for all our customers. While I know it can’t exactly make up for the hurt I caused, I hope it’ll go some way towards making amends,” the statement concluded.

The apology was also circulated on X (formerly Twitter), where people commented, expressing their dissatisfaction about how the whole situation was handled.

“After the controversy and silence, they apologised… via an unreadable Instagram story and offering drinks for a fiver for the weekend,” wrote one X user. “Cork’s queer community deserves so much better.”

“I see they have turned off comments on all their posts and deleted the posts about the name change,” someone else commented. “They f*cked up, but the got their freshers week money and are now returning to their cash cow hoping it still wants them. Embarassing and I don’t believe a word of that apology.”

GCN has contacted Krystal Queer for comment but at the time of writing has not yet received a response.

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