Christopher Robson Photographic Collection

Christopher Robson, 1941-2013, was many things in his life – an architect, a trade union activist, a photographer, a sailor, a keen traveller, a great cook who could make anything better “by adding a bottle of something”, and always excellent company. He loved his family, his friends, and his partner. But another facet of Christopher’s life was his sexuality. He was gay. And he was gay in an Ireland where diversity was discouraged, and homosexuality was illegal. After an early struggle with his sexuality, Christopher embraced his identity, and worked steadily and tenaciously for decades to win civil, legal, and social equality for LGBT+ people in Ireland. When Christopher died in 2013, Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, said: “Christopher made an immeasurable contribution to Irish society, believing as he did in the inherent freedom and dignity of each and every person. He gave unstintingly of his time and immense talent to promote and achieve equality in Ireland”.

During his many decades of gay activism, Christopher also took thousands of photographs, many charting Dublin Pride’s growth in scale, ambition, and confidence. In 2015, in accordance with Christopher’s wishes, his partner Bill Foley generously donated 2,000 photographs dating from 1992-2007 to our national collections. These gorgeous photographs ensure LGBT+ representation in Ireland’s story.

 
Eviction, Moyasta, Co. Clare, ca. 1886-1890 (LROY 1767).
Eviction, Moyasta, Co. Clare, ca. 1886-1890 (LROY 1767).
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