Council Partners History News

New Project Exploring LGBTI+ History Unveiled in Donegal County Museum

In collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland, Donegal County Museum has unveiled the Rainbow Revolutions digital podium which contains videos, photographs and archival collections which have been carefully sourced and curated to tell the stories of LGBTI+ history in Ireland and the growth of the Irish LGBTI+ rights movement.

This material was first displayed publicly as part of the ground-breaking Rainbow Revolution Trail in 2019 at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks. The screens displaying this content are now available across participating members of the Local Authority Museums Network including Donegal County Museum. This is the first historical exhibition, which spans both national and regional Museums, focusing on LGBTI+ history.

The exhibition includes the oral histories of some 42 people, which were captured by RTE film-maker Edmund Lynch in 2013 for his documentary – A Different Country. Many of those interviewed are household names who share their personal experience witnessing the growth of the LGBTI+ rights movement in Ireland. Amongst the well-known people featured are Nell McCafferty, Lydia Foy, Ailbhe Smyth, Rory O’Neill, Tonie Walsh, Sara R Phillips, Gay Byrne, Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.

Also profiled are a range of photographs, video footage and documents illustrating the emergence of the LGBTI+ rights movement in Ireland, shedding a light on themes such as building the community, law reform, early activism, the AIDS Memorial Quilt project, Pride Through the Years, Marriage Equality, Gender Recognition and historic Irish trans people.

Judith McCarthy, Curator, “we are delighted to be able to bring this incredible project to Donegal with the support of the National Museum of Ireland and the Rainbow Revolution Committee. This project is the start of further work to ensure our local Donegal LGBTQ+ communities are an intrinsic part of the histories reflected in our museums.”

The Rainbow Revolutions digital podium is available to view in Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny and admission is free.

Source: Donegal County Council

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