Mother co-founder Lisa Connell highlights the importance of queer spaces ahead of Cultúr Club

Mother has been at the centre of keeping queer dance culture alive in Dublin since its foundation in 2010.

The photograph is a headshot of Lisa Connell, co-founder of Mother queer space. In the image she is looking directly into the camera smiling with her mouth closed. She has long sandy coloured hair worn loose with a fringe.
Image: Babs Daly

Ahead of Cultúr Club at the St Patrick’s Festival, Mother co-founder Lisa Connell explains why queer spaces remain incredibly important.

The need and relevance of queer spaces remain pivotal for the LGBTQ+ community, and we must fight and work to ensure they remain open and thriving.

We have witnessed much change in the landscape of our queer spaces, in the city and country generally, and the reality of operating a space in the face of challenging economic factors is significant. We’ve lost so many venues and spaces due to often hostile conditions in which to run a business.

Mother is a weekly club night based in Dublin city centre. It was founded in 2010 to raise vital funds for this very publication – the national LGBTQ+ press – GCN.

We created Mother during the recession to fundraise for a beloved community resource, but also with the desire to create a safe and queer space for the community at a challenging time. The recession affected everyone differently, but we had a belief that dancing and gathering together needed to be prioritised.

In Stonewall’s DNA is the power of LGBTQ+ people gathering on a dance floor to affect change while letting off steam and sheltering from an otherwise hostile world.

In an Irish context, following in the footsteps of some of the finest clubs that Ireland had ever seen (Flikkers, Sides, HAM, GAG, Powderbubble, Q&A and too many to name here), Mother was born on a sticky, hot, June evening in the basement of a hotel off Dame St. 

It is said that necessity is the Mother of invention, and the recession provided opportunity and physical space that wasn’t easily accessible to us as LGBTQ+ folks before.

Humble beginnings with disco lights duct-taped to pod tables and decks assembled on high couches didn’t dampen our delight at creating a new queer space in the city. 

From night one, we had our not-so-secret to success: our beloved Resident DJS. They are the beating heart of all that we do and keep the party going. We love them.

The second factor impacting our longevity is you, dear reader, the beloved community who supports Mother with your feet by coming to our weekly club or to a Pride Party, a daytime dance party or a festival field, and for that, we are eternally grateful. It brings so much joy to witness the magic that can happen in a queer space when people are connecting, letting loose and given permission to be themselves.

Urban spaces, specifically, are very vulnerable to the economic highs and lows of our society and government policy. Mother has had three different homes so far for our weekly queer club, and we feel fortunate to have found a suitable space in LoSt LaNe. 



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To borrow a phrase and a call to action from Dublin Fringe recently, “Dublin needs dance floors”. I strongly agree with this assessment. Dance floors are a key site for queer joy and connection for the community.

Speaking of which, our next big event is our love letter to the LGBTQ+ dance floor – Cultúr Club.

Returning as part of St Patrick’s Festival 2024 on March 16, Cultúr Club is a very special night of live music, queer performance and art in celebration of Irish LGBTQ+ club culture and the transformative power of the dance floor.

Across three stages, including a 3,500-capacity main stage dance tent, a drag cabaret circus tent and the outdoor arena in Clarke Square, Cultúr Club programmes an array of live, DJ, and drag talent from across the LGBTQ+ community, traversing musical styles from electronic and disco, to trad, techno and beyond, for a massive multi-stage queer dance party.

In a world where the context for many minority communities is still so challenging, particularly for LGBTQ+ folk, the antidote is queer joy and expression. Living out loud. Oh, and dancing. Always dancing.

Cultúr Club takes place on March 16 at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, as part of the St Patrick’s Festival.
Tickets for Cultúr Club are on sale now via Eventbrite. 

Lisa Connell is the co-founder of Mother and a co-owner of the new bar Love Tempo (on Thomas Street, Dublin). She is also the former Managing Editor of GCN.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

This article was published in the print edition Issue No. 382 (February 1, 2024). Click here to read it now.

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Yes and Yes

Issue 382 February 1, 2024

February 1, 2024

This article was originally published in GCN Issue 382 (February 1, 2024).

Read Now