Catholic church cancels Dublin Gay Men’s Choir concert, citing incompatibility

Catholic church cancels Dublin Gay Men’s Choir concert, citing incompatibility

St Andrew’s Church on Westland Row in Dublin cancelled Dublin Gay Men’s Chorus concert, citing concerns about its association with the Pride Festival and deeming it incompatible with their mission.

The Dublin Gay Men’s Chorus, Ireland’s only all-male gay choir, had reserved the church for a June 23rd concert and received email confirmation on April 10th.

Chairman Patrick McNamara explained that the event, titled "Pride in the Name of Love" after a U2 song, was intended as a choral performance.


However, a church priest informed the choir on Tuesday via email that the booking was cancelled. The priest stated the church had discovered that the event was being presented “not as a simple choral recital but as a Pride Festival event.”

According to The Irish Times, the priest's email reads: “I am writing to advise you that the parish is not in a position to make the church available for the concert that was planned to be held on Sunday, June 23rd."


“The parish is happy to welcome groups from all backgrounds to perform concerts in the church as you know from your concerts here as a musical director on many occasions."

"However, the parish is disappointed that the nature of this event was not made clear at the time of booking," he added.

“We have learned that in form and content it is being presented not as a simple choral recital but as a Pride Festival event in a context which is not compatible with our mission as a Roman Catholic parish church,” the priest explained.

“In the circumstances the parish is unable to facilitate the performance on June 23rd.”

In response


McNamara noted that the booking was made under the name of Dublin Gay Men’s Chorus and expressed surprise at the church’s unawareness of the group’s identity.

He described the cancellation as “deeply disappointing” and “deeply hurtful.”

“June is Pride month across the world and the celebration of having pride in one’s self and community should be permitted,” he stated.

“While we made it clear this event is not associated with the official Dublin Pride festival once St Andrew’s made its concerns known, the church was unwilling to change its position.”

McNamara also pointed out that St Andrew’s Church had allowed another Dublin-based LGBT+ choir to perform in 2023.

He implied the decision to cancel was based on the event’s title and perceived association with the festival.

“To be in this situation now just 10 days before our concert is quite stressful and difficult for us as a choir,” he said.

“It is something we have never experienced previously.”

Although the choir had not performed at St Andrew’s Church before, McNamara mentioned they had sung in other churches, including Roman Catholic ones.

“For community-based choirs like ours, churches are the most used venues within the Greater Dublin Area because of acoustics and cost,” he added. “They can accommodate our audience size without requiring us to book larger, unaffordable spaces.”

The group had sold more than 300 tickets for the event and has secured a new venue. All ticket holders will be contacted in due course.

By David Bjelac, Beat News

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website,