‘It’s really hard to find a lesbian bar in Dublin’ - Maria Walsh on the challenges of dating
Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has spoken of the challenges of dating as a gay woman in Ireland.
Ireland is home to a number of gay bars, but they tend to be filled with gay men, leaving lesbian or bisexual women with fewer choices for a night out.
With a wedding and events planning business set to launch in July, Maria said she’s more focused on work than dating.
“I’m still single, I’m very much immersing myself in the business side so I’m not quite taking care of my personal life at the moment,” she told Independent.ie.
Although the same-sex marriage referendum has “normalised” the LGBT community and made people feel “really proud to be gay”, there is still a notable lack of female-focused nights out.
“It is not balanced. Whether it’s that lesbians aren’t out on the scene as much or we just don’t like being out in clubs and bars, it is really hard to find a lesbian bar. You have the George, but that’s predominantly gay men.
“It’s not just in Ireland, it was like that in Philadelphia too, very gay men-focused versus gay women, which I don’t understand. That’s a business opportunity!”
While she lamented the dearth of lesbian bars, Maria admitted: “I’m a bit of a loser when it comes to going out anyway, I can’t even tell you the last time I went out.”
Maria is just back from a six-day trip to Ghana with the children’s rights charity Plan International, where homosexuality is still illegal.
“It was part of our security briefing. Any homosexual activity is banned in the country, and lesbianism was called out,” she said.
“When we were celebrating the one-year anniversary of the marriage referendum, I was in Ghana, and it really made me think, we have so much more work to do on the global front.”