Founder of Cork LGBT Pride Festival to be laid to rest
‘True gentleman’ Dave Roche was driving force behind the Yes Equality Cork campaign
Dave Roche who “passionately devoted his life to helping others, touching the lives of many”. Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision
The founder of the Cork LGBT Pride Festival and chief executive officer of the Cork Gay Project, Dave Roche, has died at his home in Macroom.
Mr Roche was also a board member of the National LGBT Helpline and a driving force behind the Yes Equality Cork campaign and LGBT Awareness Week.
The organisers of the Cork Pride Festival said they were heartbroken at the loss of a beloved colleague and friend.
“Dave was a true gentleman and passionately devoted his life to helping others, touching the lives of many. Our love and heartfelt condolences go to Dave’s partner Paul, and his family and friends.”
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer said he would miss an “advocate of change” who challenged people to think differently and to act accordingly.
“I’m sad, upset and lost on the loss of a Trojan LGBT advocate and a friend. Personally his desire for fun and ability to make us laugh, along with his immense ability to assist, improve the lives of so many whilst bringing change, will be a memory.”
The LGBT helpline said they were shocked and saddened at Mr Roche’s death.
“His passion, energy and good humour was a driving force for our project and for the LGBT work across the country. We will miss him deeply.”
Broadcaster PJ Coogan of 96 FM’s Opinion Line said Mr Roche was “a tower of strength” to those who needed his help or advice.
“To those who dared to speak ill of the LGBT community, he was an articulate and fearless adversary. As an interviewee on radio he was a joy – bright, informed, sharp as a knife, and when he felt the moment called for it, outrageously funny.”
Mr Roche’s removal will take place at Keohane’s Funeral Home in Macroom from noon to 8pm on Tuesday. His funeral will be held at 2pm on Wednesday in the funeral home followed by a cremation at the Island Crematorium in Cork .