Gay Friendly Ireland

Rainbow flag, Capal St, by jaqian

Rainbow flag, Capal St, by jaqian

Although homosexuality was not decriminalised in Ireland until 1993, things have changed rapidly since and there is an active and lively gay scene in most cities and some larger towns. Outside of urban centres things are still a little bleak on the social front, though intolerance is rare.

Dublin is a very gay friendly city, in fact so integrated has the gay community become in the capital that there is little need to seek out fringe events or clubs, though there are plenty of gay bars and nightclubs to chose from.

Cork and Galway also have thriving gay scenes though with much less choice than Dublin, while Waterford is catching up. In other towns and cities you may not find exclusively or predominantly gay venues but many are gay friendly.

Featured image : Dublin Pride 2010 by infomatique

Making Contact with Gay Ireland

Queer!D is a vast site mainly about the Dublin Gay scene with active forums and an up-to-date event guide.

Gaire (which means ‘laughter’) is an active online community where you will meet up with many people who will orientate you in advance of your arrival in Ireland.

In Dublin

A good site to check in with before visiting Ireland is Dining Out which organises evening dinners for gay men about twice a month and is a very friendly group.

Emerald Warriors, by Philly Gryphons RFC

Emerald Warriors, by Philly Gryphons RFC

If Rugby is your game, the Emerald Warriors are a gay rugby club in Dublin who will be happy to welcome visitors.

The Out & About Hiking Group arranges (free) day-long walks in areas within reasonable distance of Dublin and is a terrific way to see some of Ireland in very good company. Walks take place all year round, require a reasonable level of fitness and there are generally between 20 and 50 walkers. Visitors are made really welcome.

Gloria is a gay and lesbian choir, and a very excellent one too.

See also pubs and clubs in Dublin and Annual Events below.

Outside Dublin

Gay Cork is a very active group based in Ireland’s second city who organise a wide range of activities for gay people living in or visiting the area. There is a particularly good classifieds section on their website.

Gay Waterford is a non-profit community group who have been very active of late in organising some terrific events and gatherings of GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer) people in the South East region. A very friendly group who welcome visitors.

Out West Ireland is based in the West and North West of Ireland and is a social organisation arranging regular meetings, discos and other events for gay men, lesbians and bisexual people.

In Northern Ireland

Gay Belfast is a news and events website which also has good information about gay friendly places to stay around the city. Warning: The website is a bit nauseatingly pink!

Gay Newry has news, reviews and an events guide for the gay community in Co Down, with a forum, albeit not a very active one, at the site.

What’s On

The Gay Community Network (GCN) is a lively and regularly updated website that will quickly bring you up to speed on all that is going on throughout Ireland. They also produce the Little Gay Map of Dublin , which can be downloaded in PDF format from their website.

Outhouse is a a community and resource centre for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and transvestite people with a good cafe and lots of information about what’s going on in Dublin.

Gay Pubs and Clubs in Ireland

The Front Lounge 33/34 Parliament Street Dublin Upmarket pub popular with both a gay and straight clientele, you will find the gay gang in the Back Lounge.
The Pod Old Harcourt St. Railway Stn. Dublin Club which is gay friendly every night, regular gay events include HAM (Homo Action Movies) every Friday from 11pm on Saturdays with good dance music and a relaxed atmosphere.
The George 89 South Great George’s St. Dublin This pub/club is a Dublin institution and Ireland’s first specifically gay venue. It stays open until 3am Wednesday to Sunday and has special events almost every night.
GUBU 7/8 Capel Street Dublin A fashionable predominantly gay pub with Karaoke, comedy, jazz and drag events regularly scheduled.
Company 27 Upper Ormond Quay Dublin Previously known as Out on the Liffey. Popular and mentioned in a lot of tour guides. Can be fairly rough.
Stanos William St, Galway Lively and friendly city bar, open evenings only. Regular special events.
Instinct Sullivan’s Quay, Cork More a venue than just a bar, with comedy nights, regular events and guest DJs. Very nice smoking area!
Loafers Douglas St, Cork Long established relaxed and friendly bar with pool table, beer garden. Regular guest DJs.
The Kremlin Upr Donegal St, Belfast Among the best known gay bar/clubs in Ireland, with a Soviet themed decor but its a lively place – something on every night.
Mynt Dunbar St, Belfast Huge club/bar complex, especially strong on dance.

Annual Events

A Lesbian Arts Festival: Takes place in the Spring each year.
Dublin Gay Pride Festival: Annual event usually held in the middle two weeks of June. This video will give you a flavour of what you can expect!
Dublin Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: Held annually on the August Bank Holiday weekend

Article updated: March 31, 2017

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7 Comments

  • Fiona goldwater says:

    I my name is Fiona, I have a friend who will be in her 30 these year, she wants a girlfriend to date sin she hasn’t date in 10 years now, I am trying to help her find one but no luck. She is not in to night clubs or bars, and is very shie, she tried dating Web sides but it didn’t work out and it feel wrong to her. Is there a places in Tallageht village for her to go to that she can find a girl friend?

  • Sara says:

    My name is Sara and I study journalism in Sweden. Soon, me and my class will be travelling to Ireland and Dublin in order to make a magazine about the country. Prior to this trip, we are researching certain aspects of Irish society. I have concentrated on the LGBT-society and it´s situation in Ireland.
    I was thinking about doing an article about this when we arrive in Dublin and came across this forum.
    So, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on activities to write about within the LGBT-community? Or if you have some other ideas?

    Greatful for any help och advice given

  • Anthony says:

    How friendly are they towards gay Americans? 

  • Tony Tran says:

    How tolerant is the community towards people who are not Irish? I am Asian, and I have heard rumours that it wasn’t friendly towards Asians for no reason.

    • Katherine says:

      There was a time when Ireland was not at all multicultural, but that time is long past. You need to take no more than the same sensible precautions as any other visitor to Ireland, or to any foreign country – avoid going ‘off piste’, keep to well lit areas at night etc etc. You really will have no hassle at all.

  • OHara says:

    if you are irish and latino, is it safe to visit, heard it is not good too much racism

  • Mark says:

    Instinct in Cork is opening again soon, this week some say!

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