Gay Community News (Dublin)

Gay Community News (GCN) is Ireland's longest-running lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) publication; it is based in Dublin, and founded in 1988.[1] It has been referred to as the "paper of record" for the Irish LGBT community.[2]

Gay Community News
GCN 1 cover 1988.jpg
GCN, Issue 1. Feb 1988.
TypeLGBT monthly in print, daily online
Owner(s)National Lesbian and Gay Federation
Founder(s)Tonie Walsh and Catherine Glendon
EditorPeter Dunne
Managing editorLisa Connell
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland


In the late 1980s, activists Tonie Walsh and Catherine Glendon sought to establish a free LGBT publication. The National Gay Federation (now National LGBT Federation) had previously published two unsuccessful LGBT periodicals, but agreed to establish an LGBT newspaper. GCN's first issue was published on 10 February 1988[3][4] as an eight-page tabloid newspaper. This first issue was designed by Niall Sweeney [5] and in the 1990s was printed by The Meath Chronicle.[6] It has been published consistently each month, with one exception.[citation needed] Its distribution was primarily through the pubs and clubs associated with the LGBT community, as well as other LGBT friendly spaces such as student unions, some books shops, and community and arts centres.[6]

GCN is owned and published by the National LGBT Federation (NXF), which is a voluntary organisation.[7] GCN was originally funded by the Irish state during the economically difficult 1980s and early 1990, it still carries funding banners from the National Development Plan and Pobal.[3] GCN stated that government and advertising funding did not impact the editorial choices of the publication.[6] During the early 1990s, prominent activists and writers, Suzy Byrne and Junior Larkin worked on the publication.[8]

For issue 100, in 1997, GCN sponsored the first Irish Queer Writers Award, which was won in its inaugural year by Micheál Ó Conghaile and Padraig Rooney. During this time, GCN also published a number of collage cartoons by Margaret Lonergan about lesbian culture.[9] By 1998, the publication had 2 full-time members of staff and 21 part-time positions funded by FÁS[6] producing a 38 page freesheet.[3]

The editorial focus of GCN continues to be rights- and community-based. The magazine reports on political developments in Ireland and throughout the world, and is a key source of information for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in Ireland, providing them with details of all community, cultural and social events and initiatives. It is also the only publication in Ireland with regular coverage of developments for HIV positive people. GCN also has regular celebrity interviews, lifestyle features, film, book and music reviews and social columnists.[2]

Brian Finnegan was appointed editor of GCN in March 2003.[3] In July 2003, the GCN was relaunched as a full-colour magazine in an effort to make the publication more commercially viable,[5] with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies.[3] This relaunch led to the publication recording revenues after a number of years of loss. Following the economic downturn in 2008 and the loss of advertising revenue, GCN began to run fundraising campaigns.[5]

GCN's online presence began in 2000. The website was relaunched in January 2014, under the new name[10] The website's title was changed back to GCN to correspond with a redesign of the magazine in 2017.[11]


  1. ^ "Our History". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Moore, Dermod (22 February 2010). "Can GCN Survive The Web Revolution?". Hotpress. Retrieved 21 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e Finnegan, Brian (14 February 2009). "A birthday to have pride in". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 June 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Connell, Lisa (10 February 2021). "GCN marks 33 years as Ireland's National LGBTQ+ press". GCN. Retrieved 17 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c "History – National LGBT Federation". Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Pettit, Lance (2 November 2016). "Ireland's Alternative Press: Writing from the Margins". Irish Communication Review. 7 (1). doi:10.21427/D7WH9V. ISSN 0791-0010.
  7. ^ Finnan, Sarah (1 June 2021). "13 Irish LGBTQI+ charities to support this Pride month and every month". Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  8. ^ Finnegan, Brian (24 July 2017). "Remembering Junior Larkin • GCN". GCN. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  9. ^ Madden, Ed (2013). "Queering Ireland, In the Archives". Irish University Review. 43 (1): 184–221. doi:10.3366/iur.2013.0064. ISSN 0021-1427. JSTOR 24576820.
  10. ^ "The Outmost – GCN's new website – National LGBT Federation". Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  11. ^ "GCN". Viralbamboo. Retrieved 21 June 2021.

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