University College Cork to launch a course on the Irish history of LGBT+ community

By Peter Dlhopolec / December 18, 2019
ucc cork lgbt irish history Image: FB YesEquality

Cork’s UCC course on the Irish history of LGBT+ community is open to everyone. 

University College Cork (UCC) will be opening a part-time course on the modern Irish LGBT+ history next year. 

“The history of LGBT+ people in Ireland was hidden or written from a hostile perspective until recently,” Dr Diarmuid Scully from UCC’s School of History said.

Dr Scully will teach the evening course From Shame to Pride? A Short Introduction to LGBT+ Irish History (1970s-2020) over the course of six weeks between January 29 and March 4 of 2020.   

“This course is an opportunity to discover an often painful and inspiring history and learn about Irish LGBT+ people’s experiences,” he added. 

The course is open to anyone  who is 18 years old or above. The fee is €150. People may submit their applications here before January 17.   

Faithful Departed

The UCC module will comprise six lectures on different subjects, studying topics such as the 1982 homophobic murder of Declan Flynn in Dublin, the Marriage Equality referendum from 2015, and the overall experience of Ireland’s LGBTI+ community in the last 50 years.   

It was back in 2018, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalised in Ireland, when Dr Scully also launched the first degree-level LGBT+ History module, LGBT Identities in Modern Ireland: Sources, Contexts, Interpretations, at an Irish university.   

“I was in Dublin Castle when the Marriage Equality referendum results were announced. The atmosphere was electric. I felt only rage and desolation,” Dr Scully recalled. “Such joy in the courtyard, but so many lives destroyed by centuries of hate.

When he then heard the ‘Faithful Departed’ song performed by Irish folk singer Christy Moore and written by Philip Chevron, an openly gay Irish singer and songwriter, the UCC lecturer decided to come up with the module to raise awareness. 

From Stonewall Riots to Marriage Equality

The non-assessed course on the Irish LGBT+ history will be taught between 7 and 9pm in O’Rahilly Building at UCC in Cork. 

Here is a list of subjects to be debated during the course:  

1) Recalling 50 years of the LGBT+ rights struggle: Cork Pride 2019 and the Stonewall Riots, New York, 1969.

2) ‘In the Eyes of the Law’. The LGBT+ experience in the 1970s and early 1980s Ireland.

3) ‘Queer-Bashing’. The murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park, Dublin (1982) and its impact.

4) ‘Intrinsically Disordered’? The Christian Churches and LGBT+ sexuality and identity in Ireland.

5) The LGBT+ Irish diaspora in the USA: the AIDS crisis, the St Patrick’s Day Parade Controversy in New York and its Irish context (1980s to 2019).

6) From Decriminalisation to Marriage Equality and beyond in Ireland (1993-2020).

In the case of further questions about Cork’s UCC course on the Irish history of LGBT+ community, those interested may contact Dr Scully via e-mail: d.scully@ucc.ie.   

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Peter Dlhopolec

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