Ranelagh Arts Festival and Queer Walking Tour is back 

The Arts Festival returns from 16th to 26th September with a dynamic programme of events catering for everyone. 

picture of a person walking on a rainbow pavement to illustrate Queer walking tour Ranelagh

Ranelagh Arts Festival returns from 16th to 26th September with a dynamic programme of events. One of the highlights of this year’s festival in Ranelagh is an exciting queer walking tour, designed and delivered by Hannah Tiernan.

From theatre and book readings to an outdoor art show and a variety show, from movie screenings to walking tours, it promises to be a festival catering for everyone.

The Queer Walking Tour in Ranelagh covers approximately a century of local queer history. It promises to expose some of the colourful characters who played their part in queer culture over the years as well as uncovering the lesser-known queer spaces of the suburbs. Beginning with Róisín Conroy, the tour takes a quick dip into the Attic Press archive.

Hannah will discuss the role Conroy played in the struggle for women’s rights as well as looking at some of the feminist and lesbian works published by Attic Press during the 80s and 90s.

From there the tour moves on to Cullenswood House where Padraig Pearse founded St. Enda’s boys’ school. The tour will delve into the ethos of the school and the formation of Fianna Eireann. It will also touch on one of the guest lecturers, Sir Roger Casement.

The tour heads on to what was once dubbed, ‘Revolution Road’ where Dr. Kathleen Lynn and her partner, Madeleine ffrench-Mullen, lived for nearly thirty years. Together the pair fought for women’s suffrage, ran field hospitals during the 1916 rebellion, and founded St Ultan’s infants’ hospital. As the name suggests, they were not the only revolutionary women to have walked these streets as Hannah will explain.

Dr. Kathleen Lynn & Madeleine ffrench-Mullen

Moving back in time, the tour will head to the home of James Pillar, the owner of the gay brothel in Rathmines that became part of the infamous Dublin Castle Scandal of 1884. The scandal resulted in the ‘gross indecency’ act being passed the following year, by the then ruling British Parliament. This law remained on the Irish statute books until it was decriminalised in 1993.

Finally, the tour will make its way to Palmerston Park, one of the busiest gay cruising spots in Dublin during the eighties and nineties. This part of the tour will look at the dangers that gay men faced during these times and ultimately where we are today.

The tour takes place at 10 am on Sunday 26th September. Places are limited so booking is essential – To book, visit Eventbrite online here. To find out more about the other events in the festival follow Ranelagh Arts on Facebook or Instagram.

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