“There is still a huge sense of shock. He was such a vibrant character, so full of fun and energy.”
Roche, one of the founders of Cork LGBT Pride, died suddenly at his home in Macroom on Saturday, July 1.
Roche was the CEO of the Cork Gay Project and a board member of the National LGBT Helpline. He was also a key player in Cork’s Yes Equality campaign in the lead-up to the marriage referendum in 2015, and the county’s LGBT Awareness Week.
Since his passing, tributes have been paid to him across the country, and the Cork LGBT community have expressed their shock and grief.
Arthur Leahy, who worked alongside Mr Roche in the LGBT movement since the 1980s told the Irish Examiner: “There is still a huge sense of shock. He was such a vibrant character, so full of fun and energy.”
Colette Finn, the chairperson of the Cork Gay Project, paid tribute to Roche’s courage and tenacity over 30 years of LGBT activism and advocacy.
“People like Dave did this work in the days when it wasn’t easy to come out and acknowledge your sexuality,” she told the Examiner.
“Marriage equality was a huge milestone but there are still people struggling with being gay. Dave was still working on that, helping young people coming to terms with the fact that they are gay, and working with parents’ and spouses’ groups.”
The Cork Pride organisation said Roche was a “true gentleman and passionately devoted his life to helping others, touching the lives of many”.
He is at repose from 12pm to 2pm today at Keohane’s Funeral Home in Mayfield 12pm, followed by his funeral ceremony at The Island Crematorium on Ringaskiddy at 3pm. He is survived by his partner, Paul.
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