As official partners of Dublin Pride 2019, we wanted to do something special for this year’s Pride month.
So we gathered important locations in Dublin, and set out to tell a story of love, Pride and inclusion.
Chapter 1 – Merrion Square
Lounging on a boulder of white quartz, Oscar Wilde’s statue in Marrion square is a true reminder of how far we’ve come in our fight for equality!
1895: Oscar Wilde is convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with certain male persons” and sentenced to two years of hard labor.
2019: Oscar Wilde is celebrated for his work, and his colourful statue of polished granite reposes in this well-visited park – smirking at the world.
We visited the statue on the northwest corner of the Park, across the street from #1 Merrion Square – Wilde’s childhood home.
Look how far we’ve come on #OurJourney!
Chapter 2 – Kilmainham Jail
This impressive prison-turned-museum is a living monument of the Irish past.
1940-1978: An average of 13 men a year jailed for same-sex offenses. Homosexuality was thought of as a perversion, and the trails sometimes amounted to nothing more than a cruel form of entertainment.
2018: The Taoiseach motions for an Apology for Persons Convicted of Consensual Same-Sex Sexual Acts. In the conclusion of the debate, the Minister for Justice and Equality states: “…(we) pledge to work to ensure that all members of our society feel they are valued and that the legislation in place will protect all against discrimination.”
And although we know that we’re not there yet, we hope prisons will never again restrain those who want to live openly
Chapter 3 – The George
This iconic gay bar is Ireland’s biggest and oldest one, and is regarded as the best-known gay bar in the city.
1985: Eight years before homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland, Dublin’s first “gay bar” opens. The George hoped to provide a safe space for gay socialization.
2019: The George is the most famous gay bar in the city, with daily shows, appearances from various prominent LGBTQ+ individuals, including drag queens and various performers – with no fear, no hiding, and no prejudice!
So come on in – the atmosphere is amazing!
Chapter 4 – Four Courts
The Four Courts is Ireland’s main courts building. It houses the High Court, Supreme Court, court Of Appeal and Dublin Circuit Court. It was the location for all civil and criminal trials prior to 2010.
1983: In the case Norris v. The Attorney General, the Supreme Court of Ireland found that the law which criminalized homosexuality was not against the Constitution of Ireland, “on the ground of the Christian nature of our State and on the grounds that the deliberate practice of homosexuality is morally wrong”.
1988: Norris took the case before the European Court of Human Rights, who declared that Ireland’s criminalization of homosexual acts was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This landmark case changed the course of our history and allows us to look forward to all the positive changes to come!
Chapter 5 – The Dáil
The Dáil Éireann is one of the houses of the Irish national parliament. It has the power to pass laws.
1993: Homosexuality is still illegal
2010: the Oireachtas passed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, recognizing civil partnerships between same-sex couples. The bill passed all stages in the lower house (Dáil), without the need for a vote.
We have gone from a country where homosexuality was illegal up until 1993 to a country where our Taoiseach (prime minister) is an openly gay man. The first openly gay TD was voted into the Dail in 2011.
To celebrate that, here we are in front of the Dáil, celebrating love and inclusion!
Chapter 6 – Registry Office
For this chapter in our story, we visited the Registry Office, as a reminder of how far we have come in our fight for equality!
1861: The Offences Against the Persons Act made “buggery” an offence punishable by penal servitude.
2015: Ireland becomes first country to legalise gay marriage by popular vote.
Times are indeed changing – and for the better!
Chapter 7 – Trinity College
For our next chapter, we visited Trinity College and reminded ourselves how discrimination can weed itself into different parts of our society – and how far we’ve come in rooting it out!
1941: An autobiographical novel by author Kate O’Brien, The Land of Spices, was declared obscene by the Censorship Board for a single sentence – She saw her father and Etienne in the embrace of love.
2015: The Dáil passes a bill which makes it illegal for teachers to be discriminated against because of their sexuality.
Will we see you at tomorrow’s Pride?
Stay tuned for more updates as our story progresses….