Tuesday 6 December 2016

Gay kiss furore settled with a hug

Huge online backlash after student was ejected from Cork bar

Michael Carr

Published 24/08/2011 | 05:00

It started with a kiss.

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A gay kiss which led to a student being thrown out of a Cork bar -- prompting a huge online backlash -- was settled with a hug last night when the bar owner and couple met to resolve matters amicably.

A Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) student was ejected from the nightspot at the weekend after kissing his partner.

The ban subsequently provoked a huge online reaction on Ireland's social media websites.

A hastily established Facebook site, calling for a boycott of The Old Oak in Cork, one of the city's most popular nightspots, attracted more than 4,000 people within 24 hours.

The incident took place at around 1.30am on Saturday morning, when security at the venue asked the couple to stop kissing in a prominent place near the bar's stage.

After the request, the two men continued their display of affection which resulted in the CIT student being escorted from the premises by a bouncer.

The couple, who wished to remain anonymous, met with bar owner Ger Kiely last night in Cork as the matter continued to spiral out of control on the internet.

Mistakes

Following a meeting that lasted nearly two hours at the Cork nightspot, Mr Kiely and the two men issued the following statement.

"We, the parties involved in the incident last Friday night, met this evening to discuss the events which occurred. After deliberations and discussions both parties accepted and conceded that mistakes were made by all involved.

"The Old Oak apologised for any offence which was taken, but stressed that no offence whatsoever was meant or intended as we are not and never have been anti-gay.

"Equally the couple involved, who wish to remain anonymous, accepted that they could have handled matters in a better way. Both parties look forward to continuing good relations and custom."

Earlier in the day, student unions at CIT and University College Cork issued statements condemning the decision to eject the student from the premises and called for a boycott of the bar, but have backed down following the parties' agreement.

"Thankfully the problem has been sorted out quickly," said Chris Scanlon, CIT student union president. "And I would urge anyone using social media to prolong the situation to leave it alone."

Mr Kiely said he was "shocked" at the online response because his bar had always been "gay and lesbian friendly".

Irish Independent

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