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A Corner of History

Nestled in the corner of the iconic George nightclub is a piece of history. Brian Dillon gets the lowdown on Bridie’s Bar - Dublin’s first openly gay bar.

Nicknamed ‘Jurassic’ because of its mature clientele, Bridie’s Bar is the original George. Barman Jonathan and general manager Sophie McDonald spoke to me about the history behind this often overlooked queer space.

“This bar was the original George. Some people don’t even know this exists and that there’s only the nightclub part of it, which is interesting, because this is where it started, not in there,” Jonathan said.

Working here, Jonathan has gotten to know the regulars who have been frequenting since the bar opened 34 years ago. “It is really interesting hearing some of the stories from the guys who have been coming here for years. They would tell me that they used to have to pace up and down outside and wait until there were fewer people around so nobody would see them walking in. If people saw you walking in, you’ve outed yourself. When they were leaving, they would have to peep out the door to make sure no one was around. Everyone knew it was a gay bar but it was still illegal back then.

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About GCN

This month at GCN we celebrate the elder members of our fabulous LGBT+ family with an exceptional series of articles and opinion pieces. As our centrepiece, you'll find a glorious photographic celebration of individual style shot by the exceptional Babs Daly. There's a loving look at Bridie's Bar in The George, alongside an investigation of rural LGBT+ life. Greenbow fill us in on what it's like to be deaf in the LGBT+ community and we profile a member of Identity - the group for LGBT+ asylum seekers. There's also a hard-hitting piece on the rise in homophobic violence in Honduras. In light of news that Teach Solais could face closure, we speak to those whose lives it has changed for the better. Let’s rally the community and get behind the West's only LGBT+ resource centre