'A Day In May' Will Honour LGBT+ Victims Of Homophobia

Colin Murphy's new play A Day in May is the political drama of the fight for gay rights and gay marriage in Ireland. Based on Charlie Bird's book of the same name, the play charts 35 years of monumental Irish LGBT+ history and is in memory of those who have lost their lives.

A Day in May Charts Irish LGBT+ history

‘A Day In May’ will honour those who have died by suicide with Charlie Bird announcing that the play will be dedicated to the memory of James, a young man who lost his life to suicide after he was homophobically bullied.

The play premieres on the 24th of June which is the 25th anniversary on the day that Mary Robinson signed the bill removing homosexuality as a crime.

All proceeds raised from the play, directed by the man behind the groundbreaking play ‘The Gay Detective’, will be donated to Pieta House who work directly with BeLonG To to provide counselling to LGBT+ youth experiencing suicidal ideation.

Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy show, Charlie Bird, who wrote the book on which the play is based, said “since I’ve done this book I know of one person myself personally and one family of a young man in this country who was homophobically bullied and took his own life, since this marriage equality referendum, that is what is happening.”

It has been long documented that the LGBT+ community has higher rates of mental health issues than their straight counterparts. Brian Higgins CEO of Pieta House said that the Marriage Equality Referendum helped in improving this but we still have some way to go:

“It was an equality referendum and where there is equality you have space for people to be who they are and for people to be accepted as to who they are. The referendum has opened up a conversation it created a national dialogue, one of the issues that we see is that the national dialogue hasn’t matched private dialogue in homes and that’s where the disconnect comes in and that’s where people suffer.”

He also spoke about the darker side of the marriage referendum and how traumatic it was to listen to debates. “There were parts of it that were horrific to listen to what people were saying, and allegations that were made and just the tone, and you think people are hearing this. What there wasn’t was a controlling voice in the middle saying be mindful of what you say because what you say is going to be heard by somebody who could be very deeply impacted by what is said, and that’s what we see in Pieta House.”

Higgins said reversing this societal stigma and turning despair into hope is done in part by this play which Charlie Bird said is “a celebration, there is laughter in it”.

The play begins 37 years ago in Fairview Park when a young man [Declan Flynn] was beaten to death because he was gay and then we move on to the struggle to repeal the law on homosexuality. The play then moves on to the campaign for marriage equality and I interviewed a lot of the people who were involved in the campaign and what we’ve done is that we’ve interwoven the stories from people.

“In a way I think the important thing in the book is that these are not all the well-known people who are gay, these are the people who come from the four corners of this country.”

A Day in May is playing for two nights only this Sunday 24th and Monday 25th of June, to mark the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the official Exoneration or Pardon for those convicted. To get your tickets, visit the Olympia’s website or Ticketmaster – which also offers you the option to donate directly to Pieta House.


If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can reach out to the following:

LGBT Helpline

T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie

TENI Helpline (Transgender Support)

T: 085 147 7166 | W: www.teni.ie


T: 1850 60 90 90 | W: www.samaritans.ie

Pieta House (Self-Harm/Suicide Support)

T: 01-6010000 | W: www.pieta.ie | E: [email protected]


For your chance to win two tickets to A Day in May, answer the following question:

Gerard Stembridge, director of ‘A Day In May’, also directed another groundbreaking play. What was it called?

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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