David Norris Chairman of the Gay Rights Movement 1975

Last Friday, 7 February 2014, Senator David Norris appeared on 'The Late Late Show' to talk about gay rights in Ireland. At the beginning of his interview with Ryan Tubridy, Senator Norris refers to one of his first appearances on RTÉ Television 40 years ago when he was interviewed by Áine O'Connor for the programme 'Last House'. This was possibly the first interview with an openly gay person on RTÉ Television.

In 1975 homosexuality was still illegal in Ireland and was not decriminalised until 1993. Ireland was the only remaining sovereign EEC country to still retain criminal sanctions in relation to homosexuality with penalties from ten years to life in prison.

The Irish Gay Rights Movement had been founded the previous year to fight for the rights of homosexuals in Ireland. David Norris was the National Chairman of the movement.

This piece 'Last House' also features Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, member of the District of Columbia, Washington, and Commissioner on Human Rights, and well-known Gay Rights Activist in the United States, who has some advice for homosexuals in Ireland.

This episode of 'Last House' was broadcast 24 July 1975.

According to the RTÉ Guide 'Last House' was "a late-night magazine-type television show with a summer-time flavour and an unprecedented mix of items" (RTÉ Guide, 25 July 1975, p.3). 'Last House' was presented by Áine O'Connor and Tom McGurk.

Áine O'Connor and David Norris (1975)
Áine O'Connor and David Norris (1975)