Dr Aintzane ‘maken’ Legarreta Mentxaka sadly passed away on February 10 in the care of the Mater Hospital, Dublin.
Leaving behind her partner Kitty, her brother Jagoba, her sister Gurendane as well as many friends and family, the loss of maken has left the Irish LGBTQ+ community grieving.
She was well-known for her extensive work with groups such as Film Qlub, The Full Moon Club and Running Amach and in 2020 she was recognised as Volunteer of the Year by the GALAS, Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Awards.
She was also an academic, beloved by her students, as she documented and promoted trailblazing women who may otherwise have gone unnoticed. She also ran the Gay Trekkies group, which is Outhouse’s second longestrunning group.
“She was an amazing lecturer and mentor to me in college,” one of her students shared on social media “She really believed in me and my work. She was truly an incredible human. RIP.”
“Words will not describe what she has done for this community from arts, film, to literature and more,” read a tribute post to maken by Street 66. “We will miss her lovely kind soul and gentle being.”
“We are shocked, devastated and saddened to lose our very own maken,” shared Maureen Looney, a friend to maken and founder of Running Amach, told GCN. “She was lovely, gentle and a shining star in our community.
“She gave so much to us, encouraged us, supported us, lead us, shared her intelligence and creativity with us, smiled and laughed with us, the list could go on and on! Her intelligence was mesmerising, and this was reflected in her career and academic accomplishments.
“As an outstanding and committed event host for Running Amach, maken hosted and created so, so, many dynamic, diverse and eclectic events for us. She brought so many women together and encouraged them to stretch themselves and share their talents, knowledge and experiences with us. maken had a loyal following due to her ability to bring people together. When I say that you would do anything for maken, I mean it!
“maken was unassuming and humble in all that she created and gave us. She gave us spaces to be ourselves and to make friends. Her list of accomplishments is inspiring: The Full Moon Club, the Qlub, Born to Burn productions, the Imagined performance in Dublin Castle, the Grainne play, her astonishing and original play A Pair of New Eyes, the production Women Don’t Bite, her short story in the Running Amach book, etc.
You could bump into maken on the streets of Dublin and she would warm you with her smile and meaningful connection. It was fitting that maken won Volunteer of The Year at the 2020 GALAS. It brings us comfort now, that we honoured and showed maken how much we loved and appreciated her. maken who was from the Basque Country adopted Ireland, and we adopted her. I will never see a ‘Full Moon’ and not think of and remember maken.
“Our condolences to Kitty, her siblings, maken’s many, many, friends and her extended family. Goodbye, our friend, you will be sorely missed.”
Rest in power.