Historic photos depict the first ever Dublin Pride

200 people attended the first Dublin Pride, which took place just months after the murder of Declan Flynn.

dublin pride 1983 flyer next to pride gathering in Black and white

Dublin Pride, which will celebrate its biggest event yet this year, began back in June of 1983 with a gathering of just 200 people. 

The Parade took place the June after the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Collective organised the first large-scale gay protest in March of 1983 in response to the release of the murderers of Declan Flynn. The protest was attended by around 900 people. Declan Flynn was murdered at age 30 in Fairview Park, which was a meeting place for gay men at the time.

The National LGBT Federation (NXF) organised the first Dublin Pride Parade, which went from Stephen’s Green to the GPO. 

The following photos from the Irish Queer Archive detail the historic moment.

Photo by Thomas A. O’Shea, courtesy Irish Queer Archive/National Library of Ireland.

The Parade took place the June after the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Collective organised the first large-scale gay protest in March of 1983 in response to the release of the murderers of a gay man called Declan Flynn. The protest was attended by around 900 people. Declan Flynn was murdered at age 30 in Fairview Park, which was a meeting place for gay men at the time.

man hold protest sign
Photo by Thomas A. O’Shea, courtesy Irish Queer Archive/National Library of Ireland.
pink pride flyer
courtesy Irish Queer Archive/National Library of Ireland.

The above flyer shows events from Monday through Sunday, including a women’s night, picnics, pub outings, marches, and much more.

Tonie Walsh, Independent Curator of the Irish Queer Archive at the National Gallery and an activist who spoke at the Gay Pride Parade in 1983, told the Irish Times:

Gay Pride Day Protest.
Photo by Thomas A. O’Shea, courtesy Irish Queer Archive/National Library of Ireland.

 “Less than 200 people marched in the first Pride parade in 1983, where Joni Crone lead gave the lead speech. Grafton Street had recently been pedestrianised, but we were told we weren’t to march down it. However, we insisted. We wanted our day in the sun. If I remember correct, the complete budget for Gay Pride Week in 1983 was about £300.

“I remember being kicked out of a bar on Dame Street in 1981 for holding my boyfriend’s hand nonchalantly. The manager said ‘I don’t want your kind in here’. The picnics had sort of an innocence about them, and allowed the LGBT community, which was becoming ever more diverse year on year, to socialise without alcohol.”

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