The George


Europe, Ireland, Dublin

The George is a pub and nightclub on South Great George's Street in the city centre of Dublin, Ireland. Opened in 1985—eight years before homosexuality was legalised in Ireland—it is one of the nation's oldest gay bars and clubs. It is regarded as one of the best known gay bars in the city. South Great George's Street is a popular location for gay men in Dublin. For many years it was the only large gay venue in the city, however the improved economy and liberalisation of Irish attitudes to homosexuality in the 1990s resulted in a diversification of the Dublin gay scene. This somewhat reduced the club's pre-eminence, though it is still a central fixture of gay nightlife in the city. The George began as a gay-owned venture but is now one of a group of bars and clubs owned by the Capital Bars Group. It retains an iconic status but has recently seen competition from newer gay venues, such as the Front Lounge on Parliament Street, Pantibar on Capel Street, or the Dragon, also on South Great Georges Street and run by the same owners. The oldest and smallest part, referred to as 'Jurassic Park' by gay Dubliners, is a quiet bar frequented by an older crowd, while next door, the newer venue extends over two floors and regularly stages popular drag shows as well as personal appearances by Irish and international acts. It's also home to arguably Ireland's best-known drag queens—Shirley Temple Bar, Panti, Veda Beaux Reves In June 2008, a hoax caller set off a bomb alert during Gay Pride celebrations at the venue. The perpetrator was later accused of being "being vindictive against gay people".