The first ever Irish National Gay Conference was held in Cork on 15-17 May 1981

The first ever Irish National Gay Conference was held in Cork on 15-17 May 1981.

Homosexual acts were still illegal in this country in 1981 and Ireland was still very much under the thumb of the Catholic Church so this was an exceptional event to be held here.

Cork’s Connolly Hall hosted the country’s first national gay conference (see photo- Senator David Norris is second from the right). It brought together lesbian and gay activists and organisations from throughout Ireland and abroad. Over 200 people attended the conference from Ireland, Britain and the U.S. and participated in workshops on a wide range of topics including partition, disability and trade unionism.
Forty-nine motions were passed by the conference and according to Kieran Rose, these motions “set the agenda for the lesbian and gay movement for more than a decade.” (Kieran Rose, Diverse Communities: The Evolution of Lesbian and Gay Politics in Ireland).

via Colm O’Connor on Facebook

One Reply to “The first ever Irish National Gay Conference was held in Cork on 15-17 May 1981”

  1. Hi Donncha, I remember this event as am the guy on the right hand side of the photo. during that time we felt a great sense of achievement by just being visible to others and proving as gay men we had nothing to hide. there was some great work done by a lot of people at the time. It was a time just before HIV struck gay communities around the world. take care. Denis

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