Community gathers at Cork rally to support librarians facing anti-LGBTQ+ protests

The demonstration took place in response to anti-LGBTQ+ book protests which have taken place across the country in previous months.

Three people at the rally in support of Cork librarians. The person on the left wears a green raincoat, the person in the middle wears a blue raincoat and holds an Irish falg, and the person on the right wears a red raincoat and holds an Irish flag and has a Pride flag around their shoulders.
Image: X: @louezejordan

On Saturday, September 30, community members gathered in Cork to rally in support of librarians across Ireland who have been facing anti-LGBTQ+ book protests in recent months. The crowd braved the rain and assembled outside Cork City Library on Grand Parade, with reports estimating that around 100 people were in attendance.

Organised by the Cork Says No to Racism umbrella group, and supported by Cork Rebels for Peace, the purpose of the demonstration was to display solidarity with librarians who have endured what has been described as “intense harassment by far-right individuals”. Furthermore, the rally aimed to celebrate all that the city has to offer “in diversity, inclusion, culture, free access to information, and above all, every citizen’s right to live peacefully and safely”.

Joe Moore, an organiser of the rally, was among those to address the crowd. He said that while the far-right began to rise during the covid pandemic in opposition to lockdown restrictions, the attention has now been turned to “asylum seekers, migrants, people of colour, trans people, queer people, women.”

Similarly, People Before Profit party member Shane Laird added that “libraries across the country have come under attack by a fascist movement,” and that “books have always been by far the most effective way of immersing people in different world views, the best way of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”


Matthew Morrissey of Cork Alt Pride stated that the anti-LGBTQ+ protestors “want me to go back into my closet”, and Arther Leahy of Gay Project commented that the same political energy that resulted in achieving marriage equality now needs to go into tackling homophobia.


Libraries across Ireland have been targeted throughout 2023 by small groups of people opposing certain LGBTQ+ titles in their catalogues. The protestors have been accused of intimidating and harassing staff members while filming them without their consent.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies have held counter-demonstrations on several occasions, which have included creating human chains at Cork City Library to prevent the agitators from entering building.

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

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.