Brendan Behan, the famous Irish playwright (and discreet bisexual) once quipped: “An Irish queer is a fellow who prefers women to drink.”
It’s a memorable line but the truth is that there’s always been a tradition of flamboyant men in Ireland, how else to explain Cu Chulainn, Oscar Wilde, Boy George or even "Riverdance"?
Nowadays Ireland offers several gay and lesbian friendly cities featuring attractions and events to appeal to all comers and the international GLTB tourist market has taken notice.
To really get you in the mood for a visit, visit our photo gallery above of IrishCentral’s 10 fun facts about Gay Ireland!
1. A Mr. Gay Ireland’s to top anyone’s morning. Here’s two sides to the 2007 model Barry Meegan.
2. Mr. Gay Ireland 2009, Max Krizinowski (37) is crowned in Dublin.
3. There’s even an Irish delegate for the position of Mr. Gay Europe. The 2009 version is Jason Masterson.
4. It’s not just the big cities that get in on the GLTB action. This lovely lad is Derek Moran, 20, Mr. Gay Newry 2008. Derek is also an Irish Army soldier.
5. Dubliners have a tradition of wittily re-naming their public statues and monuments. This homage to Oscar Wilde, the patron saint of Irish gays, is known locally as “the queer with the leer” and “the fag on the crag.”
6. Anyone who thinks that the Irish don’t know what a bromance is has never been to a Hurling Cup Final. Go for the lively atmosphere but stay for the tackles.
7. Rock chick Sinead O’Connor has at various times claimed to be a priest, a lesbian and not a very confirmed fan of the Pope. Only one of these statements may be true. She’s certainly admired and loved by Irish gays and lesbians.
8. Believe it or not this man was once the only known Gay in Ireland (we mean the one on the right, legendary Irish talk show host Gay Byrne). How times change!
9. The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival plays from October 23 to November 1 2009, a week long program of productions from Africa, UK, USA and Ireland.
10. In Ireland drag is mostly still in its infancy (choreography is not just for "Riverdance," girls) but one very notable exception is Panti, the ultra glamorous queen of Dublin’s gay nightlife.