Loafers Bar Cork
Loafers Bar on Douglas Street was opened in 1983 by Derrick Gerety and operated until 2015, making it one of the longest running gay bars in Ireland. Loafers became an important social meeting space for the LGBT community as well as for people involved in ‘alternative’ groups and lifestyles in the city and for those involved in the Quay Co-op.
Derrick continued to run Loafers for 16 years years and saw it develop into a primarily gay bar that provided an important public venue for the Cork LGBT community. It was subsequently managed by Rena Blake, and then by Ted O'Connell.
Having a public social venue was very important for the development of the Cork LGBT community. This public space, and the contact and social interaction it facilitated, was an important element in the building of contacts, connections and elements of community. In 1992 Munster GCN described Loafers as “an institution on the Irish lesbian and gay scene which has provided an invaluable, safe and welcoming meeting-place for the community down through the years.”
The back bar in Loafers was reserved for women only on Thursday evenings. This provided an important regular public meeting space for the Cork lesbian community, facilitating social support and engagement as well as political discussions.
Loafers hosted the annual infamous Pub Quiz as part of the Cork Women's Fun Weekend each May.
Loafers closed suddenly in May 2015. The announcement was greeted with sadness and shock by the Cork LGBT community and the wider community.