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Saturday 30 August 2014

From Croke Park streaker to professional stripper

Paul Flaherty turns ‘fat’ jokes on their head as he tones up – but continues to shed his clothes

Aishling Phelan

Published 14/01/2014 | 10:34

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Dublin v Tyrone Allianz NFL...3 February 2007; A streaker on the pitch. Allianz NFL Division 1A, Dublin v Tyrone, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE...ANI
Paul Flaherty on the pitch at Croke Park
Paul Flaherty
Paul Flaherty

A young streaker has given up stripping for free and delved into a new career path as a professional stripper.

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Paul Flaherty streaked across the pitch at Croke Park in 2007 during a game between Dublin and Tyrone in aid of cystic fibrosis.

‘‘When I started stripping it was easy because I was doing the exact same thing I was already doing except I was getting paid and not getting thrown out of nightclubs,’’ he told independent.ie.

The then-plumber became the centre of attention for fat jokes and received a scolding from his mother for the publicity stunt on RTE radio’s Liveline.

When Paul suggested that he would streak again his mother told the programme, ‘‘Paul, I don’t care what it is for. I asked you not to do it. Your father has asked you not to do it.’’

Some 81,000 people watched his pre-planned streak to raise awareness for the disease.

He hated people calling him fat and made the decision to get into shape when he was 19.

The now-toned stripper, who lost his job due to the recession, said his mother fully supports his career as a stripper and his recent experimentation with comedy.

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After he lost his job, he shed three stone in weight before turning his hand to stripping to earn a living.

The 26-year-old formed the ‘G-string King Strippers’ and now performs to sell-out audiences in hotels and clubs.

‘‘It came easy to me because I could always dance and was comfortable showing off my body,’’ he said.

But the stripper is no longer content with just taking his clothes off and has recently launched a career in the stand-up comedy circuit.

‘‘I’ve always been doing comedy since I was born, my Dad was very funny and I was always the class clown,’’ he explained.

‘‘It got to a point where stripping wasn’t enough and I was looking for a bigger high.

‘‘Stripping wasn’t doing it for me so comedy was the next step,’’ he added.

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The male stripper took part in his first stand-up comedy act after a couple of drinks in a bar when he was visiting a friend in Australia.

‘‘It was scary and a different experience to stripping but it was a good laugh,’’ he said.

Paul won the battle of the acts competition on his first night of stand-up in Ireland and has been doing comedy gigs for the past six weeks. 

He can be seen at the Ha’Penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar in Dublin this Thursday night at 9pm.

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