Declan Flynn: Film to Spotlight the Life (and Murder) of the Man Behind Irish Stonewall
Backed by a major UK charitable organisation and Dublin Pride – a new short film, Fairview Park, will share how the unfair and inhuman murder of Declan Flynn was a catalyst in 1980s Ireland’s gay rights movement with a new generation. The 31-year-old was viciously attacked by a gang of self-proclaimed queer bashers in Dublin’s local Fairview Park. But the team behind the film also seek support for their crowdfunder to share their vision of a deeper look at the equally tragic experience of Flynn hiding his sexuality for those who do, and some who still sadly don’t, benefit from the progress in LGBT+ rights today.
In a humanising narrative to show the truth behind the headlines, the film follows a fictional day in Declan’s life from home to work to party. And Flynn’s visit to the historically important hub of the now-demolished LGBT+ sanctuary of the Hirschfeld Centre before his search for creating a connection leads to his fateful visit to the park.
With in-depth research for the script including the insight of Declan’s family and brother, Paul Flynn, we meet a man who loved music, who enjoyed visiting the cinema as well as a man misunderstood by everyone around him, even himself. A struggle known to anyone who has ever felt disconnected from the people closest to them.
Writer, Ellie Hodgetts also adds her reasoning behind bringing this particular story to life: “I want to highlight the systemic and blatant homophobia that occurred during and after Declan’s murder, and believe that this story is a very important part of recent Queer history that is often forgotten.”
Flowers may have been laid at the park bench of the attack as the Marriage Equality Referendum passed but Home Office figures show that reported LGBT+ hate crime has grown at double the rate of other forms of hate crime for the last two years. LGBT+ history has slowly received more attention in public from historians to filmmakers. But in the almost 40 years since the ‘Irish Stonewall’, where 400 people marched against anti-gay violence, hate crime legislation is still lacking.
Ending with archival images and footage of the aftermath including the trial that galvanised the start of Ireland’s modern Pride movement, this film will move audiences and show how Declan Flynn’s story still remains relevant to individuals and British society today. The Fairview crowdfunder can be found here for individuals/organisations to kindly donate and share: https://greenlit.com/project/fairview-park