Review: The Queen Of Ireland Starring Irish LGBT Campaigner Panti

LGBT campaigner Panti

THE Queen of Ireland opens with LGBT campaigner Panti (aka Rory O’Neill) at the Equal Marriage Referendum holding up an equal sign as crowds of people cheer and cameras flash.

The Yes campaign had just realised their victory for the LGBT community in Ireland and made history by passing Equal Marriage through a popular vote.

Rory and dog Penny in O’Neills Family home, Ballinrobe

Rory and dog Penny in O’Neills Family home, Ballinrobe

The film takes us behind the scenes with Panti in the year she became the symbol of Ireland’s march towards marriage equality.

Panti takes us right back to where it began, in the small town of Ballinrobe in Co, Mayo prancing around his family home in a “tutu and Wellington boots” says his Mother.

The story brings us through Rory’s story from a wonderful childhood, playing with all the children in the street to Art College in Dublin, in a year when homosexuality was still illegal to the stages of Japan and Dublin, the transformation of the gay underground to the Ireland we know today and the invention of an alter ego who would soon become the drag queen that we’ve all grown to love and envy Ms Panti Bliss.

Panti & Conor Horgan

Panti & Conor Horgan

Directed by Conor Horgan (One Hundred Mornings, Deep End Dance) and produced by Blinder Films (Citadel, One Hundred Mornings) the film builds up a multi-faceted picture of a complex and compelling character through behind the scenes footage and interviews with friends, peers and protégés, including Bunny, Tonie Walsh, Shirley Temple Bar, Una Mullally, David Norris, the O’Neill family, the other half of CANDI PANTI, Angelo Pitillo, long time collaborators Niall Sweeney and Philip McMahon.

Whether you’re a drag queen, know a drag queen, or don’t even know anything about LGBT rights this is a brilliant film to show the story of one person’s influence on a whole country and one drag queen’s influence on the world stage.

In what is a brilliant, emotional and heartwarming 82 minutes, this film is definitely a must see.



I must have cried at least three times with happiness due to the positive messages in relation to HIV and LGBT rights in a humble way. You can tell both on and off the stage Rory and Panti are a force not to be reckoned with, I look forward to the coronation.

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Watch The Trailer Below

Queen of Ireland