I was horrified to hear of the venue for Dublin Pride's Family Picnic yesterday. I think its great we have picnics, yes, and even more delighted that finally the scene is comfortable in crossing the river here to the northside. Great. But Fairview Park was the scene of one of the worst atrocities of our gay history. In 1982/3 an RTE worker, Declan Flynn, a gay man, was murdered there.
Fairview Park in those days had turned into a spot for gay guys to find each other for sex. Lets not beat about the bush. I'm neither going to condemn or justify it. But the fact remains that in a year where we try to rebember his untimely death by murder, its hardly appropriate to throw a family party on the same spot.
My Mum's family are Coolock/Artane and the previous year nearly 50 kids lost their lives in the fire at the Stardust complex in Artane, a badly converted jam factory whose daily alarms I used to hear while playing in my Grandmother's garden on the Malahide Rd in the 1970s. For years relatives groups have diligently fought, amongst other things, against planned developments by the site owners to turn it back into an entertainment complex. It would be like dancing on the graves of their dead.
Shame on Dublin Pride for dancing on the site of the murder of one of our own dead.