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A place to call home: Calls for a Limerick LGBTQ venue

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Limerick LGBTQ venue – Even as this year’s Pride Festival will once again have a physical parade after two years of virtual Pride, the Limerick LGBTQ+ community still don’t have a venue they can call home.

A place to call home: Calls for a Limerick LGBTQ venue

By I Love Limerick correspondent Ellie McCarthy

Limerick LGBTQ venue

Strokers Gay Bar was Limerick’s last official gay bar and it sadly closed in 2017.

Limerick City. Home to over 20,000 students. A vibrant and exciting centre for nightlife, yet no safe space for young queer people. Limerick’s last queer pub, Strokers, closed down in early 2017 and the gap it has left has been felt by many.

Mia O’Connor, a 20-year-old transgender woman was excited to experience nightlife in Limerick. She said, “I come from a small town in Leitrim, no one understood me there, so I was excited to come to a big city like Limerick.”

So far, Limerick has not exactly lived up to her expectations. Mia added, “I tried to go out a few times with friends, but I just never felt safe. Boys would stare, say things, or throw things. It’s sad because I’m just being myself.”

Mia expressed heartache at not being able to live the true student experience as her safety comes first. 

“There are thousands of LGBTQ people in Limerick, I know I’m not the only one that feels like this,” she said.

It is clear that Mia, and others out there like her, need somewhere to truly be themselves, as they don’t have a Limerick LGBTQ venue that they can call home. 

“I am excited to attend my first-ever pride parade in Limerick this Summer and really be unapologetically myself, ” Mia smiled, clearly excited for the future.

Joseph Costigan, a member of the Limerick queer community, revealed that he and his friends are in talks to approach Limerick City and County Council about the need for a Limerick LGBTQ venue where queer youth can feel safe and accepted.

“I do love going out with my friends here and I have a good time, but I think a place for the LGBTQ+ community is desperately needed,” he admits. “I’m from Cork, down there we have Chambers and it makes the world of difference, being with people that are like you.”

A sense of community is important, and this potential nightclub could do more than just provide a fun night out. It could give those who feel like outsiders a sense of belonging. 

This year’s Limerick Pride Festival is scheduled to run from Monday, July 4 until Sunday, July 10, with the Limerick Pride parade taking place on Saturday, July 9. 

For more information on Limerick Pride go HERE

For more stories about Limerick Pride, go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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