Dublin Project Arts Centre

In 1976 Mister X and Any Woman Can travelled to Dublin’s Project Arts Centre. There was vocal opposition to the Irish Gay Rights movement and the company’s performances gained a lot of attention in the media.

‘There were bomb threats, wooden rosaries and illustrations of flagellation scenes were posted through the letterbox and people who had not even seen the plays were condemning them as filth.’ (Philip Osment Gay Sweatshop: Four Plays and a Company)

The Dublin Arts Project had been awarded a grant for improvements from the City Corporation, but there was already tensions mounting around the centre which was seen as a subversive left-wing organization. The arrival of Gay Sweatshop sparked heated debates in the Irish press, and a campaign was started by The League of Decency, Parent Concern and The Society to Outlaw Pornography, to stop the grant.

From letters to the Editor 14th December 1976:
‘No Grants for Vice’
‘Indeed, it is ironic that some City Councillors regard sodomy and lesbianism as art forms and culturally uplifting. Ranting against society for such sexual perversions is an admission of ignorance of the vulnerability of society, and the young, in particular, to the corrosive effects of un-natural vice.’
‘Look at Britain, where such sexual perversions are an everyday occurrence, and see the alarming rise in sex casualties among the young. In 1974, 160,000 teenagers were on the Pill, 27,000 teenagers had abortions, venereal disease is at epidemic proportions among them, and teenage prostitution is increasing.’

Nial MacDara Cairman S.T.O.P:
‘Are you adverse to the unbridled excesses of liberalism and capitalism, which inevitably produce, and indeed, finance communism, and the destruction of the human family? Are you against back-door legislation which outrages innocence and slays the foetal person – the child in the womb? Will you fight the permissiveness destroying the very fabric of society by the deadly subversion of pornography, which today assails out unemployed youth from all sides?

LW Quelch President, League of Decency 11th December 1976:
‘Do you wonder why there is no “pay pause” for pornographers,  peddlers, who owe no allegiance to God or the State? Do you object to the shameful misuse of your money to subsidise perversion in the Project Arts Centre?’

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