Ireland has come a long way since homosexuality was legalized in 1993 (1982 in the North), but gay and lesbian visitors should be aware that this is still a deeply conservative country. With rare exceptions, gay communities are low-key, and even in such ostensibly liberal places as Dublin and Galway, gay bashing is not unheard of. Things have improved a great deal, but proceed with caution.
There's a burgeoning gay community in Dublin. The Gay Community News (GCN), a monthly free newspaper of comprehensive Irish gay-related information, is available in gay venues and bookshops. In Dublin, the city's leading event listings guide, dedicates several pages to gay events, club info, and a helpful directory. Two small magazines have recently emerged -- Free! and Scene City -- and both contain city maps with gay venues highlighted.
Among the best resources on the Web are Gay Ireland Online (www.gay-ireland.com) and Outhouse (www.outhouse.ie). These include events listings, advice sections, useful contacts, and discussion forums.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.