Private Project


Loafers Bar in Cork was one of Ireland’s longest running gay bars; it opened in 1983 and closed suddenly in 2015. Loafers was much more than a bar – it was a crucial community space, a home, a space for radical, alternative, artistic communities and a refuge for the Cork LGBT community. Its rooms were filled with love, laughter, dancing, political discussions and activism.
LOAFERS Documentary marks 40 years since the opening of Loafers Bar in 1983. Using a combination of interviews, archival footage, photographs, illustrations and animation it gives a glimpse into the legend and legacy of Loafers. The documentary explores what Loafers meant to the people who ran it, worked in it and frequented it, and the impact of the loss of such an important safe space for the community.

  • Orla Egan
    I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • Carol O'Keeffe
    Director of Photography
    The Pieces of Me; Connect; Inside Out; Written on the Soul; I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • JL Egan Morley
    Production Assistant
    I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • Emma Bowell
    The Quay Co-op; Mother Jones and Her Children; Sunbeam; The Limerick Brigadistas; I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • Eddie Noonan
    The Quay Co-op; Mother Jones and Her Children; Sunbeam; The Limerick Brigadistas; I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • Orla Egan
    I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    LGBTQ, History, Ireland, Cork, Community, Queer, Bars, Community Spaces, Queer Culture, LGBT
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    9,500 EUR
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Orla Egan

Orla Egan is a Cork Queer Archival Activist and Founder of the Cork LGBT Archive. Orla is the author of the Irish social activism graphic memoir DIARY OF AN ACTIVIST, in collaboration with artist Megan Luddy O’Leary. Orla's book, QUEER REPUBLIC OF CORK, traces the history of Cork's LGBT Communities 1970s-1990s.
Orla is Director of the short Cork LGBT documentary I'M HERE, I'M HOME, I'M HAPPY.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was in Loafers bar on the night it opened in 1983, on the day it closed in 2015, and innumerable times in between. Loafers was such an important space for me and my community. Having that vibrant, joyful, welcoming safe space completely changed our experience as queers in Ireland in the 1980s and onwards. I wanted to give people an opportunity to show what it meant to all of us and share it with those who were not fortunate enough to be able to be there. We have lost so many of our safe spaces, at a time they are needed more than ever, as we see a recent rise in overt homophobia and transphobia.
Through my work with the Cork LGBT Archive I am committed to sharing the rich history of Cork's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. A key part of this work is what I call Animating the Archive; bringing the history to life and making it more engaging and accessible for people. I do this in a variety of ways, through publications, exhibitions, walking tours and talks, theatre and also through documentary. My short documentary I'M HERE, I'M HOME, I'M HAPPY explored the experiences of some Cork LGBT people in the 1970s and 1980s. It showed what happened when people found their queer tribe, their community.

LOAFERS documentary brings people on a journey from when Loafers opened in 1983, through the changes in ownership and clientele, through to when it closed suddenly in 2015. It uses a mixture of interviews, photographs, archival material and footage and animated illustrations to tell stories of Loafers; the highs and lows, the loves, laughter, politics and the sense of community. Loafers was home. I miss Loafers so much.

This documentary is my love song to Loafers.