Cllr John Maher, Deputising for the Lord Mayor, and Siobhan O’Dowd, Chairperson LGBTI+ InterAgency Group, at the launch of the 2023 LGBTI+ Awareness Week. Photos: Jim Coughlan

LGBTI+ Awareness Week taking place

“2023 is significant as it marks 30 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. It is also a year which saw important hate crime legislation being presented to the Dáil. Much has happened since we were here last year and much has happened over the last 30 years.”

Those were the words of Cllr John Maher, deputising the Lord Mayor, as he launched Cork’s LGBTI+ Awareness Week, taking place this week.

He continued: “We have progressed as a society in many positive ways. Rights have been hard won. Rights and equality are even harder to retain and so we must all be watchful and demanding that what is won, is retained and fight harder for LGBTI+ rights and equality which remain outstanding.”

Guests of honour at this year’s LGBTI+ Awareness Week launch were Arthur Leahy and Luna Lara Liboni. They were chosen to recognise the milestone of it being 30 years since from decriminalising homosexuality to criminalising hate crime.

Arthur is a long time activist who spoke movingly of the impact of this legislation on the LGBTI+ community and the campaign to have it removed from the statute books which he was centrally involved in. Arthur said of all the progress that has been made “much of it unimaginable 30 years ago”.

Luna Liboni is a policy officer with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Chair of the Coalition Against Hate Crime.

Across the city the Rainbow Flag will be raised in many settings, many for the first time, including eldercare settings, GAA clubs and at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Collins Army Barracks. Siobhán O’Dowd, Chair of the LGBTI+ Inter-Agency said this demonstrates that “challenging hate and discrimination is a role for all of us”.

A full programme of events is scheduled for LGBTI+ Awareness Week and is available on City Council website at or the Inter-Agency Social media @CorkLGBTWeek or on FaceBook Cork City LGBT Inter Agency Group.