Over 35 years after the brutal murder of Declan Flynn and the national movement for LGBTQ+ rights that it launched, a new short film released by Dublin LGBTQ Pride – Remembering Declan Flynn and the Fairview March – asks: “What can we learn from Fairview?”
Declan Flynn was beaten to death in Fairview Park by a group of five teenagers who had been targeting gay men, his killers eventually receiving a suspended sentence. These events acted as a flashpoint for the LGBTQ+ community who had had enough of mistreatment and prejudice. Across the country, people came out to demand change, demand justice. The Irish Pride movement had begun.
Christelle Gebhardt’s short film remembers those times, but also asks how much has changed since then and where do we need to go next as a community.
Speaking in the video, Éirénne Carroll, CEO of TENI, notes the similarities between the Fairview march and events at Stonewall. She shares, “Both of them started because of oppression and violence towards gay, queer, people, and as we think about that in our society today, it is still an experience that a majority of our community faces, so moving forward we continue to mark the moments, and the history of Fairview and Stonewall as a reminder of the fight that we’ve had and the fight that needs to be done.”
Filmmaker Gebhardt also shares her thoughts on a way forward, “What we need to focus on now is making our activism intersectional, because for too long we’ve overlooked too many people. We need to make sure violence against women, and this includes queer women, is a thing of the past. We need to make sure people are safe when they walk down the streets and free to express themselves in whatever way they choose. Our goal here should not be to achieve equality within an inherently unequal system, but to dismantle that system and build a society based on the principles of kindness and solidarity.”
The Dublin LGBTQ Pride film concludes, “In memory of Declan Flynn and the countless others who lost their lives to intolerance and hate. You will not be forgotten.”
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