Ireland's Oldest Gay Bar Closes Its Doors
Loafers in Cork City, Ireland's first gay bar, will close its doors permanently as the owners are being forced out by the sale of the building by the bank.
Located on Douglas Street (pictured), Loafers first opened in 1983 and became an institution for the gay rights movement in Ireland.
Current owner Ted O'Connell took over the property six years ago but faced difficulty in recent years.
The pub had been held on a lease, however the bank are due to sell the property and require a vacant possession. Business had also not been good in recent times for the publican.
"Overall I would say we are down 35% to 40% from when I first took over six years ago" said O'Connell, citing the fact that gay people are less marginalised than they were before as a possible reason for the downturn in such establishments.
"It’s the same for gay bars everywhere, in London, New York, everywhere. I suppose in a way it is a positive thing that gay people do not feel ghettoised to drink in certain premises,” he told the Evening Echo.
O'Connell announced the closure via Facebook, and did not give any indication as to whether the bar would relocate.