Jeffrey Dudgeon to open OUTing the Past with Roger Casement lecture

The event in Kilmainham Gaol is available to attend in-person, or virtually through GCN’s In and Out Festival.

Left: A portrait of Jeffrey Dudgeon, Right: A painted portrait of Roger Casement
Image: Left: Jeffrey Dudgeon, Right: Wikimedia Commons

OUTing the Past: The International Festival of LGBTQ+ History returns this month for 3 weeks of unmissable events all across Ireland. Kicking off celebrations on Friday, March 18, is none other than Northern Irish politician and LGBTQ+ activist Jeffrey Dudgeon, who will be delivering a lecture on the life and sexual identity of 1916 Easter Rising leader, Roger Casement.

Taking place in the Kilmainham Courthouse, next door to the Gaol where fourteen 1916 leaders were executed, the lecture is entitled ‘The Casement Diaries – Authenticity and Homosexual Identity by Jeffrey Dudgeon’.

According to the Office of Public Works (OPW), “Roger Casement’s [sexuality] remains a contended issue to this day, over a century after he was executed for treason.”

However, “Casement certainly puts the sex back into homosexuality when it comes to reading his private diaries. There is nothing else like them before the war for descriptions albeit terse of both sex and cruising.”

They add that: “Assessing the evidence is one thing but expecting judicial certainty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is quite another. Roger Casement is a study in how famous gays come in from the margins and how Ireland has found it difficult to cope.”

This is the first of 39 exciting OUTing the Past events, talks, webinars and workshops taking place in the 24 days leading up to April 10. From Dublin to Derry and Kilkenny to Mayo, this year’s programme is an island-wide collaboration bringing academics, activists and the LGBTQ+ community together in over 15 different institutions to celebrate our history.

GCN is delighted to be partnering with OUTing the Past and the OPW to live stream this exciting occasion and ensure audiences who are unable to attend in person have other means of access.

The stream will kick off at 6:30 PM on Friday, March 18, and will be available to view on GCN’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Should you wish to attend the event in person, you can register for a free ticket on Eventbrite.

GCN will also be partnering with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to live stream a portion of their OUTing the Past celebrations on March 30.

OUTing the Past will run from March 18 to April 10, with the full programme available here. Admission to all events is free, but booking is required for some. For further details, visit

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