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.
All items above scanned from various issues of In Dublin dating from March to December 1980. The Lynn Geldof review of Flikkers in the Hirshfeld centre is from December 1980.
Related Link: 1974 Better Gay than Average – from Man Alive Magazine
This Post Has One Comment
endamurray3 Jul 2012
The Hirshfield was a fantastic club. A wonderful atmosphere and an inspiration for me in setting up the Dance Factory in Drogheda where girls danced with boys and boys danced with boys and no-one really cared at all which is how i think it should be. I believe the Hirshfield was fire-bombed in the early 80’s. Did a quick google but not much info about it. Tonie Walsh was mentioned as a prime mover and someone who has documented gay history in Ireland.
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