Gay Travel in Ireland and the 2008 Bingham Cup

If Rugby is your game, the Emerald Warriors are a gay rugby club in Dublin who will be happy to welcome visitors. JUNE 13-15th 2008, Dublin will host the BINGHAM CUP. According toIGRAB, “All of the bids reflected the great spirit that characterizes our organization,” said IGRAB chairman Raimundo Martinez. “After careful consideration by the IGRAB selection committee, it is my pleasure to announce that we will be drinking Guinness in 2008 in Dublin!” – The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Rugby Tournament is the largest amateur 15s rugby event in the world.

For the past decade, Dublin has been coming into its own. The economic renaissance that began in the mid – 1900s and made Ireland a powerhouse among European economies, has transformed the city into a commercial and tourist showcase.

The classic picture of Ireland as a very religious and generally quite conservative country does not bode well for the gay traveller. Despite the high esteem for the poet Oscar Wilde, the actor Mícheál Mac Liammóir or the nationalist Roger Casement, homosexuals and especially gay men were not really Ireland’s favorite daughters and sons. Ireland today prides itself in being an inclusive, non-discriminatory society.

Ireland has a lively “gay scene”, especially in Dublin and Belfast. Some favorite hang-outs like the “George” in Dublin are clearly identifiable by their use of the “rainbow flag”, others are far more discreet. The best bet for visitors who want to meet other gay people is to obtain a copy of GCN, the Gay Community News, a monthly magazine with comprehensive listings. GO IRELAND, Dochara and    GAY IRELANDare also good resources.

Dublin is a very gay friendly city, in fact so integrated has the gay community become in the capital that there is little need to seek out fringe events or clubs, though there are plenty of gay bars and nightclubs to chose from. A good site to check in with before visiting Ireland is Dining Out which organises evening dinners for gay men about twice a month and is a very friendly group.

While Cork and Galway also have thriving gay scenes though with much less choice than Dublin, while Waterford is catching up. In other towns and cities you may not find exclusively or predominently gay venues but many are gay friendly.