A new radio documentary, 35 Years of GCN, produced by Shaun & Maurice for Documentary and Drama on Newstalk, explores the story of Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community through the pages of Ireland's longest-running free LGBTQ+ publication and press.
The story of GCN (Gay Community News) is also the story of LGBTQ+ rights, history, and culture in Ireland. Since 1988, the magazine has reflected and documented the lives and lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people. The first issue of GCN was published from a small office at the top of the Hirschfield Centre in Dublin’s Temple Bar, and since then it has been at the heart of the LGBTQ+ community.
35 Years of GCN will be broadcast on Newstalk on Sunday 12th November at 7am, repeated Saturday 18th November at 9pm, and will be available as a podcast, on GoLoud and all major platforms.
35 Years of GCN explores some of the LGBTQ+ stories captured by the magazine. The programme features an interview with Tonie Walsh who co-founded GCN with Catherine Glendon during the height of the AIDS epidemic. It features an interview with Senator David Norris about the foundation of GCN in the same year that he won his case against the Irish government at the European Court of Human Rights (which ruled the existence of laws in Ireland criminalising consensual gay sex to be illegal).
The documentary also features interviews with former GCN editors Brian Finnegan and Lisa Connell, about the struggles and celebrations that have been documented by the nation’s LGBTQ+ paper of record—including the introduction of civil partnership, the passing of both the marriage and abortion referendums, and the introduction of the gender recognition act.
The programme was produced with funding from the Coimisiún na Meán Sound and Vision scheme.