In 1979, when it was illegal to be gay, the newly established National Gay Federation (NGF) leased a 3 storey building in Fownes St Temple Bar and named it the Hirschfeld Centre.
During the day the centre was a drop in meeting space for lesbian and gays. It had a cafe, a youth group, a small film club and it provided its members with support otherwise unavailable.
At weekend nights the restaurant was turned into a disco called Flikkers – named after the Dutch slang word for ‘faggot’. Flikkers held up to 300 people and was the critical source of income for the voluntary run and non funded centre.
No alcohol was sold in Flikkers just coffee, soft drinks, snacks and salads. But it had plenty of attitude and combined with a low ceiling, a sensational sound system and with the DJs spinning disco, soul and funk it was the most original and influential club of that era.
In 1987, the Hirschfeld Centre closed when it was badly damaged by fire.
Related Link: 1974 Better Gay than Average – from Man Alive Magazine