Irish LGBTQ+ community mourns the loss of beloved photographer Seán Gilmartin

Seán Gilmartin, one of Ireland's most beloved artists in the queer community, has sadly passed away after battling Covid-19.

Photographer Seán Gilmartin
Image: Twitter @Emma_niDhulaing

It’s a sad time for the Irish LGBTQ+ community, as we mourn the loss of the late Seán Gilmartin, a queer photographer who perfectly captured the Dublin club scene.

Gilmartin, the photographer behind the current poster for the Gate show Once Before I Go, touched the lives of many, before he sadly passed away following complications as he fought against Covid-19.

Following the devastating news, friends, fans and loved ones are flocking to the internet to honour his memory.

GCN co-founder Tonie Walsh wrote on Twitter, “Devastated to hear my dear friend (and phenomenal photographer) Seán Gilmartin is no longer with us” and “I loved Seán Gilmartin. He was a very special person. Bless his memory.”

Walsh also shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram, posting images taken by the late Gilmartin in the National Gay Federation offices as he (Walsh) and then-partner Tim Pitt dressed in Halloween costumes.


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A post shared by Tonie Walsh (@toniewalsh)

He wrote:

“Hospitalised five days ago, Seán succumbed to complications from COVID-19 last night. Seán was on hand to document the last ever public event at Dublin’s Hirschfeld Centre on 31 October 1987.

“Here he captures me in our makeshift dressing-room, the offices of the National Gay Federation, dressing my then boyfriend, Tim Pitt, as a G&T (with slice of lemon as headdress). Like Tim, I’m barely clothed and barefoot, parading as a horned devil with just a sheet of red satin to fend off the puritans.

“Sacred memories of an utterly different time and place. We are so lucky to have his photos and to be able to call Seán a dear friend. Bless his memory.”

Other Twitter users have also posted their own tributes and memories of the beloved photographer.

“Really sorry to hear this. Sean was such a wonderful friend to my late mum, Pat. We all loved Sean Gilmartin in the Griffin clan.”

“Not sure if this photo is by Sean Gilmartin @tonie_walsh – but either way, the nightclub scene in Ireland has just lost one of its best artists. Sean’s photos of the gay scene in Dublin in the 80s and early 90s belong in a museum. Timeless. #RIP.”

“Beautiful photographs and such important history, thanks for sharing. I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Sad news. But the photos live on!”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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