'Poor Ian has been getting a lot of grief' - First Dates Kayleigh
First Dates contestant Kayleigh Coleman has said her heart goes out to her date Ian Cleary, who has been subjected to taunts from trolls since the show aired.
The 23-year-old described waitress Kayleigh as "beaut- iful" and suggested they go to the bathroom so he could look at her bum.
Kayleigh (25), from Blanchardstown, admitted she was "so nervous" ahead of her episode airing, but was thrilled with how she came across. However, the same could not be said of her date.
"I was so nervous because it was done in August, so you're talking six months of not knowing what they'll put into it, but I was delighted with how it turned out," she said.
"Poor Ian, he got the s***ty end of the stick, didn't he? People have been giving him grief."
Kayleigh and Ian did not hit it off romantically on their date, but they kept in touch after meeting and have become good friends.
"He's getting a hard time, and I wouldn't mind but we're actually best pals now. I feel protective of him, God love him. I bumped into him over Christmas and we went for a few drinks," she said.
Kayleigh said she would be up for going back to the First Dates restaurant again.
"Yeah, I'd do it. I thought they'd put me with someone that I would just chew up and spit out, but they gave me someone that was well able for it," she said.
Kayleigh impressed producers with her sense of humour and was one of four First Date participants invited on to The Ray D'Arcy Show last weekend for another shot at love.
"The four of us, the first daters, were on for about 15 minutes chatting away and then the next 15 minutes was me trying to choose between eight blokes," she said.
"I've never had eight blokes after me. They did it kind of like Tinder. They had these guys' profile pictures up on the screen and I had to say yes or no."
A 23-year-old Cork man named Eugene caught Kayleigh's eye, and they went to Copper Face Jacks after the show.
"When we met up again, there wasn't really a spark there. He lives down in Cork, it's never going to happen. We'll just be pals," said Kayleigh.
"He was lovely, but a bit young. There were so many of us in Coppers, I lost him."
Kayleigh felt guilty at having to reject so many men on TV and apologised to them all individually when they went backstage.
"All the lads I rejected were in the green room and I went around and said sorry to them. They were great craic," she said.