Protests as Cork gay bar rebrands for freshers week

LGBT groups protested in Cork city yesterday evening after local bar Chambers which has been described as ‘the only gay bar in Cork’ temporarily changed its theme to coincide with ‘freshers week’. 

The move has drawn sharp criticism from the LGBT movement as the crowd which featured numerous drag queens took to the streets to express their anger at the decision taken by private company the Reardon Group who owns Chambers



Socialist Party TD Mick Barry accused the Reardon Group of “putting profit before the interests of the gay community”

 He continued, “they think they can get bigger profits by opening their doors to other sections of society next week during the freshers week,” 


One of the men who performs at Chambers’ weekly drag shows said, “We were not made aware in advance of these changes to accommodate the coming “freshers” week,” he continued,”The removal of all traces of our beloved LGBTQI+ safe space is simply appalling and we refuse to accept this.”



Amid accusation that the move was motivated as part of an attempt to “straight wash” the bar some commenters asked if  NGO funds could be used to establish a full time gay bar. 

“If the LGBT want their own space why don’t they buy a venue , there’s enough money slushing around from NGOs championing the cause , LGBTQ has gone way ott and I believe a major corporate sponsor pulled funding on Cork Pride parade ,IMHO businesses and straight people R anti book!” said one. 

Another commenter said,  “So you’re advocating for the “downfall” of a privately owned bar that has supported you for years because they’ve decided to make it available to freshers. It’s pretty pathetic stuff. You can’t bully everyone into running places as you see fit 100% of the time. Buy your own pub.”

“A privately owned pub made a legal business decision in regard to who they cater to. Mick Barry and Co. in Cork are looking for any reason to protest. If you’re so saddened by this, open your own queer bar and run it on a co-operative basis to align with your politics,” said another man on Twitter. 

Gript contacted the Reardon Group asking for comment and advising their representative of our deadline but at the time of publication we are yet to receive a response. 

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