Opening of a Digital Introduction to Irish LGBTQI+ History

  • LCCC Museum LGBTQI+
Opening of a Digital Introduction to Irish LGBTQI+ History in Limerick Museum on Wednesday the 19th of July 2023 by Mayor of Limerick City and County Council, Gerald Mitchell hosted by Matthew Potter, Limerick Museum. Photo Keith Wiseman

On 19 July, Councillor Gerald Mitchell, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, performed the official opening of 'A Digital Introduction to Irish LGBTQI+ History' in Limerick Museum.

This exhibition is part of a collaboration between the National Museum of Ireland and the Local Authority Museums Network (LAMN) to share videos, photographs and archival collections which tell the stories of LGBTI+ people in Ireland and the growth of the Irish LGBTI+ rights movement.

Mayor Gerald Mitchell said,

"This material was first displayed publically in 2019 as part of the ground-breaking Rainbow Revolution Trail at the National Museum of Ireland- Collins Barracks. This ongoing project will ensure that screens displaying this content will now be available across the twelve local authority museums which make up the LAMN, in order to provide greater access for people to explore these stories.  This is the first historical exhibition focusing on LGBTI+ history to be held in both national and regional museums."

Dr Matthew Potter, Curator of Limerick Museum said,

"This digital exhibition included the oral histories of some 42 people who share their personal experience of witnessing the growth of the LGBTI+ rights movement in Ireland. Many of those interviewed were household names, including Nell McCafferty, Lydia Foy, Ailbhe Smyth, Rory O’Neill, Tonie Walsh, Sara R. Phillips, Gay Byrne, Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson. These interviews were captured by RTE film-maker Edmund Lynch in 2013 for his documentary, A Different Country. Also included were a range of photographs, video footage and documents illustrating the emergence of the LGBTI+ rights movement in Ireland."

At the opening Mayor of Limerick City and County Council, Gerald Mitchell, Curator of Limerick Museum, Dr Matthew Potter and Chair of Limerick Pride Lisa Daly. Photo Keith Wiseman

The Local Authority Museum Network (LAMN) launched its Strategic Management Plan in 2022, with the support of Minister Malcolm Noonan at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. As part of this new plan, the LAMN plans to strengthen and advance their strong relationship with their diverse communities and the National Museum of Ireland.

Marie McMahon, Chair of the LAMN said that

The support of the National Museum of Ireland and the Rainbow Revolution Committee has afforded us the opportunity to house this incredible project and ensure our local LGBTQ+ communities are an intrinsic part of the histories reflected in our museums.

A Digital Introduction to Irish LGBTQI+ History continues in Limerick Museum until the end of August. Limerick Museum is situated in the Old Franciscan Friary on Henry Street, next door to Dunnes Stores. The Museum is open to the public Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm; Saturday 10.00am-1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Admission is FREE.

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