Invisible Comrades: Gays and lesbians in the struggle
Brendí McClenaghan

Invisible Comrades: Gays and lesbians in the struggle .pdf
Invisible Comrades: Gays and lesbians in the struggle 2.jpeg
An Glor Gafa 1992 letter.jpg

Dublin Core


Invisible Comrades: Gays and lesbians in the struggle
Brendí McClenaghan


Lesbian and Gay Republican Movement
Irish Republican Movement
Long Kesh (Prison)
An Glór Gafa (The Captive Voice)
Northern Ireland
Lesbian and gay activism


In 1991 Brendí McClenaghan wrote an article Invisible Comrades about lesbian and gays in the Irish republican movement. It was published in An Glór Gafa Vol. 3 No. 3
The article was written by Brendí McClenaghan when he was an Irish republican prison in Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland. An Glór Gafa (The Captive Voice) was a magazine written by Irish republican prisoners - 26 issues were produced between 1989 and 1999. Brendí McClenaghan came out while in prison and his article was significant in giving voice to an invisible community within the Irish republican movement.
In Spring 1992 An Glór Gafa printed a letter from gay activists (including members of the Cork Gay Collective) in response to the Brendí McClenaghan article - the letter was signed by Kieran Rose, Donal Sheehan, Mick Quinlan, Eoin Collins, Cathal O Ciarraigain and Arthur Leahy.
An edited version of his article was published in Gay Community News in April 1992.
In November 1991 Kieran Rose and Cathal Kerrigan visited Brendí McClenaghan in Long Kesh following contact from Sinn Fein informing them that a republican prisoner had come out as gay in prison and wanted to make contact with gay activists. In December 1991 Brendí McClenaghan was released on day release and went to Dublin to meet with Kieran Rose, Cathal Kerrigan and other gay activists. Brendí McClenaghan's article was published in An Glór Gafa in December 1991. In February 1992 Cathal Kerrigan again visited Brendí McClenaghan in Long Kesh, this time accompanied by Eoin Collins. A photograph taken of the three of them was published alongside the GCN article in April 1992.
In 1995 Brendí McClenaghan's “Letter from a Gay Republican: H-Block 5,” was included in the publication Lesbian and Gay Visions of Ireland.


Brendí McClenaghan


Eileen Hickey Irish Republican Museum Belfast
Kieran Rose collection
Cathal Kerrigan collection


An Glór Gafa
Gay Community News


1991 - 1992


Kieran Rose
Donal Sheehan
Mick Quinlan
Eoin Collins
Cathal O Ciarraigain (Cathal Kerrigan)
Arthur Leahy


Digitising these community resources in a publicly accessible digital archive can be seen as fair dealing and reasonable use of these materials (as defined in the 2000 Irish Copyright Act) and in keeping with the ethos and purpose with which they were produced. In addition to this, Permission to Use has also been granted by the owners of the collections and by the relevant community organisations. Items in this digital archive are covered by a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No-Derivatives License. Please credit Orla Egan, Cork LGBT Archive and provide a link back to this site




Brendí McClenaghan, “Invisible Comrades: Gays and lesbians in the struggle
Brendí McClenaghan,” Cork LGBT Archive, accessed May 24, 2024,