Monday 21 October 2019

Panti's 'Noble Call' dress will become part of history at National Museum exhibition

Panti celebrates the yes vote
Panti celebrates the yes vote
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

The distinctive mauve dress that Panti Bliss wore for her famous Noble Call speech in the Abbey Theatre will become a part of history, as it's being donated to the National Museum of Ireland.

This year sees Ireland's biggest cultural institution taking part in the Pride celebrations for the first time.

To mark its involvement, the Collins Barracks museum is creating a new Rainbow Revolution exhibition featuring the gown sported by Panti, real name Rory O'Neill, during the 2014 oration.

Her passionate speech on the Abbey stage went on to be viewed by nearly one million people and was one of the key moments in the campaign for same-sex rights ahead of the 2015 marriage referendum being passed.

The new exhibition will be the first focused on LGBT history, dating from 17th century warfare right up to the recent campaigns for equality.

Opening on Thursday, it will also feature items from 20th century design icons, and was created to coincide with this year's Pride celebrations.

Obviously an important piece of memorabilia in Panti's collection, the dress will officially be handed over at an event today.

Panti will feature strongly in this coming weekend's Pride celebrations.

She will be riding on a rainbow-coloured Dublin Bus across the city, and will be joined by a number of competition winners before going to the main parade in Merrion Square.

Panti will then go to Mother Block party, where she will DJ ahead of the annual party in her Capel Street bar.

Preparations are currently under way all across the city as Dublin gears up for the huge parade this weekend, with an estimated 65,000 people expected to take part.

An Post has painted 16 post boxes with a rainbow motif, while An Garda Siochana has transformed several squad cars with the rainbow flag's colours.

This year will see members of the force taking part in the parade in full uniform for the first time in a bid to reflect the "diverse society we serve."

LGBT history tours will also be kicking off at Kilmainham Gaol.


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