To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, we’ve got an exclusive book competition that’s a must for anyone who wants to know more about Irish queer history. We’ve teamed up with Dr Patrick McDonagh to give one lucky reader a copy of his unmissable publication, Gay and Lesbian Activism in the Republic of Ireland 1973-93.
The book provides a comprehensive exploration of one of the most revolutionary chapters within the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Taking a unique nationwide approach, this new compendium uncovers the role gay and lesbian organisations played in creating spaces to meet throughout Ireland.
It also explores the establishment of vital services such as Tel-A-Friend, Lesbian Line and Parents Enquiry. It captures the response to HIV and AIDS in 1980s Ireland and the interaction with the trade union movement, student movement, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, political parties and international organisations.
Patrick explained his approach to researching the book: “When I began this project, two key priorities for me were including the role and contribution of lesbian women and the activities and efforts that took place outside of Dublin.
“As someone who isn’t from Dublin, I was naturally interested in what might have been happening in other regions of Ireland. I also believe that so much of Irish history revolves around Dublin, and what happens outside of Dublin is often considered as secondary importance.”
He continued, “In my book, I look at what individuals in Cork and Galway also got up to during this period, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that there was quite a lot happening.
“Cork, in many respects, was a hive of activity during this period. Numerous organisations emerged there and helped advance gay rights in Ireland. These included the Cork Irish Gay Rights Movement, Cork Gay Collective and Cork Lesbian Group.
“In Galway, while the efforts there did not reach the same heights as they did in Cork and Dublin, were nevertheless important for individuals based in Galway and in the surrounding regions.
“As early as 1980, a group known as the Galway Gay Collective was established by Marese Walsh and John Porter. For much of the early to mid-1980s, Walsh and Porter worked to create a space for individuals in Galway to meet, often organising meetings in hotels where gay and lesbian individuals could meet without having to ‘out’ themselves.”
Patrick added, “These stories are often overlooked, but these activities were important in creating spaces for gay and lesbian individuals to meet others, to become more confident and accepting in their sexuality and in doing so undermining the status quo in Ireland.”
To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous Irish LGBTQ+ history book, simply answer the following question:
What years of gay and lesbian activism are covered in Dr Patrick McDonagh’s book?
The competition closes at midnight on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Winners will be contacted directly and shared on social media.
By submitting this form, you give GCN consent to process your personal information for the purposes of conducting this competition. More information on how we protect your privacy can be found here.
This competition is now closed, please visit our Competitions page for more.
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