Art & Activism: Diary Of An Activist Exhibition Launch 31st July 16:00, Cork City Library

Diary Of An Activist

Book Cover
Youth CND
Orla with badges
Compare clock
Quay Co-op
Orla riding her bike
Loafer's Bar

Diary of An Activist is a social activism memoir journeying through vegetarianism, anti-nuclear and CND protests, feminist and queer activism, lesbian parties, coming out and becoming a parent. It features quirky Cork locations like the Quay Co-op and Loafer's Bar.

It provides a unique insight into activism in Ireland in an era before mobile phones, computers and social media. It features gestetner machines, badge making machines and newspaper pages clipped to a clothes line. It includes both a trip to Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and a trip on a pony over a mountain just to make a phone call in the local pub.

Diary of an Activist is an intergenerational collaboration between activist and writer Orla Egan and artist Megan Luddy O'Leary. The beautifully illustrated story brings to light a history of activism that has previously been hidden, making it accessible and engaging.


Written by

Orla Egan

ORLA EGAN is the Founder and Director of the Cork LGBT Archive and the author of Queer Republic of Cork, Cork's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities 1970s-1990s (Onstream Publishers 2016). She wrote the short play, Leeside Lezzies, in 2018 and is Director of the short Cork LGBT film I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy (2021). She has been active in social change and LGBT activism in Cork since the 1970s/1980s.


Illustrated by

Megan Luddy O'Leary

MEGAN LUDDY O'LEARY is an Irish artist, illustrator and poet. She draws, animates, writes, and makes things out of clay, collage and embroidery. She is interested in handmade aesthetics, particularly women's craft work. Her themes include: the domestic, queerness, love and magic. Her work has been featured by Gill Books, Vibe Magazine, GOMA Gallery, Vittles Magazine and UsFolk.


"Picked it up last evening - couldn't put it down - what a fabulous enlightening, entertaining and insightful voyage of discovery from late 70s - right to the present day - Only Massive!

A fantastic Christmas present - for those who lived through those times, those who can't remember those times, and those who'd like to know about this times. Congratulations Orla Egan & Megan Luddy O'Leary."

Conál Creedon, Novelist, Playwright and Documentary Filmmaker