Diceman exhibition to celebrate the life of the High King of Grafton Street

Marking 25 years after his passing, The Little Museum of Dublin will pay homage to Thom McGinty, AKA the Diceman in a new exhibition documenting his life and career .

The Diceman dressed as cupid for Valentine’s Day on Grafton Street
Image: Frank Miller

The Little Museum of Dublin’s newest exhibition is an exciting tribute to one of Dublin’s best known street-artists, the Diceman. Born as Thom McGinty in Scotland in 1952, the Diceman moved from Glasgow to Dublin in 1976, earning his name from The Diceman games shop, one of the many businesses that hired him to promote their services. The model, actor and street-artist quickly became a much-loved fixture of the capital city for his head-turning costumes and his famous “Zen walk”. 

Thom used his popularity to champion for causes he believed in, appearing on The Late Late Show twice, first in 1988 when street performers and buskers were forming a union and then again in 1994 when he discussed living with HIV, having been diagnosed as HIV positive in the early 1990s. Jay Fik, who painted The Diceman memorial, remarked on his activism saying; “He was a man ahead of his time both for AIDs awareness and gay rights and was fearless in campaigning for both.”

View this post on Instagram

27th August 2010: A plaque in memory of Thom McGinty was unveiled at the Baltinglass courthouse during the Baltinglass Street Festival. McGinty, better known as "The Diceman", was a Dublin fixture, becoming a landmark street performer. #OnThisDay #Queerstory . . . #lgbthistory #gcnmag #lgbt #lgbtq #lgbtireland #gaycommunitynews #gaynews #gaymagazine #gayireland #instagay #lesbian #gay #bisexual #transgender #queer #nonbinary #genderqueer

A post shared by GCN (@gcnmag) on

After a rapid decline in his health in March 1994, Thom was forced to stop performing and later died in 1995 at the age of 42. Thom was crowned ‘The High King of Ireland’ in the Olympia Theatre as part of a fundraising campaign for his medication and funeral in 1994. After his passing, the stallholders and various shops on Grafton Street also pitched in in order to help cover the cost of his funeral. His death affected the city immensely, with a funeral procession being held on Grafton Street for Thom before his burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.

This new exhibition aims to keep the memory of the Diceman alive by celebrating the life and work of Thom McGinty 25 years after his passing. The exhibition itself was created with the help of some of Thom’s closest friends with access to the most intimate material and will be part biographical and part social history.

Featured in the exhibition is an illustration by Neave Alouf for our article about the Diceman in our August 2019 issue.

The exhibition curated by Robert O’Byrne, will run from tomorrow Friday, February 21, until May 24 and tickets can be bought online or in the museum itself.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.

GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.