The Ireland We Dream/ed Of

The Ireland We Dream/ed Of is a critical and community arts programme running from 3–6 July at Ormston House. This programme invites a wide range of communities to engage with LGBTQIA+ individuals, creative practitioners, activists, and thinkers to build the Ireland we dream/ed of.

The series title is taken from Eamon de Valera’s 1943 St. Patrick’s Day address, On Language and the Irish Nation, which described the vision of an “ideal” Ireland where “people [are] living the life that God desires that men should live.”. Drawing on a variety of different perspectives, mediums, and practices, this programme seeks to debate and deconstruct what an ‘ideal’ Ireland looks like and encourages us to cruise towards utopia.

The Ireland We Dream/ed Of is curated by El Reid-Buckley in collaboration with Trans Limerick Community (TLC) and Ormston House. This project is funded by Creative Ireland and Limerick City and County Council through Creative Ireland Made in Limerick Grant 2023.

Launch and The Elders of the Long Table: Monday, 3 July, 6–8pm

Inspired by the Split Britches Long Table at Outburst Arts Festival 2022, this adapted Long Table focuses on intergenerational connections between LGBTQIA+ community members. Moderated by Raevynna El Messaoudi (TLC, Transgender Europe) and led by Elders in Residence Rita Wild and Cathal Kerrigan, this Long Table invites audiences to take a seat at the table to queer traditional panel formats and conversations. This intergenerational, communal discussion seeks to open up questions and qualms that have affected LGBTI+ communities and organising.

This event will be live-streamed and closed captions will be provided in person and online. Please note that this is a fully masked event. Masks will be provided on site for anyone who forgets to bring one. We ask that if you are experiencing any cold/flu/COVID-like symptoms to stay home and attend online.

Trans Writers Showcase: Tuesday, 4 July, 6–8pm

Trans Limerick Community’s Writers Showcase returns for this year’s Limerick Alternative Pride to spotlight the talent of Limerick’s trans writers.

Queer Dreaming as Praxis: Wednesday, 5 July, 6–8pm

Bringing together some of Ireland’s most exciting LGBTQIA+ artists and curators – Beulah Ezeugo, Jennifer Mehigan, Ailbhe Wakefield-Drohan, and Emma Wolf-Haugh – this panel explores queer dreaming as praxis. 

Drawing from Irish folklore, queer theory, and community histories, this panel discusses the power of artistic interventions in creating a more liveable Ireland for diverse queer and trans communities. It discusses the artists’ multi-/interdisciplinary practices in the search for queer agency, survival, and world-building. Overall, this panel aims to inspire communities to expand their imaginaries and capacities for dreaming as conceptual tools for deconstructing oppressive systems.

This event will be live-streamed and closed captions will be provided in person and online.

SRÓN GO SRÓN – Beginners Céilí: Thursday, 6 July, 6–8pm

Dancing is extremely important within Irish culture, but it has been subject to a high degree of regulation from a range of institutional forces. For queer people, dancing as a mode has been a powerful way to take up space, to come together as a community, to celebrate one another, and to protest. Taking a community-led approach to traditional dance, artist Eimear Walshe and musician Zoe Basha will host an introduction to group dancing. The beginners’ céilí will be accompanied with live music by the Culchie Goth Céilí Band, led by acclaimed queer fiddle player Helen Brady. 

This event is limited to twenty-four places.


The Ireland We Dream/ed Of: 3-6 July 2023. Tickets to all events can be found here.
Image: Illustration by Jennifer Mehigan from her upcoming book project, RAW.
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