The Friends of Eon were the first trans group formed in the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, in 1978. It was founded by two trans women, Claire Farrell and Lola. It had grown from the group of transvestites and transsexuals who had met through a small advert in the Evening Herald. This group of individuals had been brought together through a founder of the Beaumont Society in the UK. Alga Campbell, who was from Dublin, had reached out to others to organise members to join the Beaumont from Ireland. After a while trips to the UK were organised for meetings and events.
On returning to Dublin, after such an event, Claire and Lola decided to start an Irish organisation that could host their own events. And so, the Friends of Eon were formed. An initial advert in the magazine In Dublin read “Come dressed if you like”. The Friends of Eon organised a room at the top of the Parliament Inn (now the Turks Head on Parliament Street). The first couple of years seemed to be busy and certainly exciting. They contacted the Garda Inspector named Barney Curran who attended and advised their group. Members of the group were interviewed on Pat Kenny’s Radio Show on RTÉ and in 1980 Claire appeared on the RTÉ television programme Summerhouse. By the late 1990s, Dublin had become more cosmopolitan and there were many more clubs and outlets opening up for the community. The Friends of Eon were no longer as active as they had been.
(Words by founder of the Irish Trans Archive, Sara R Phillips)
The RTÉ Summerhouse programme can be found here