Thursday 22 March 2018

'Queen of Ireland' Panti Bliss has no plans for public office... but could be persuaded to run for President

Elaine McCahill

She might be the Queen of Ireland but Miss Panti Bliss said she has no plans to run for public office.

However, the "accidental activist" as she describes herself, could be persuaded to run for President one day.

"No, no I wouldn't. I'm bad at board rooms and all that stuff. I might give the Presidency a go. I'm good at making speeches and posing for pictures so I've got that down," she told 

Over the past 18 months Panti - the alter ego of Rory O'Neill - has been catapulted to worldwide fame thanks to her famous Noble Call speech and subsequent activism as part of the marriage equality campaign.

As a result, she has received thousands of messages from people all over the world and said she is till working on replying to them all.

"I get a lot of emails and letters from people all over the world really - that's the power of the internet. And a lot of them are from young people but it's not only from gay kids," she said.

"Obviously a lot of them are but lots of people identified with Noble Call in ways that I never could have imagined or anticipated.

"A lot of them are women, people in wheelchairs, people with autism or the fat kid in school," she continued.

"Anybody really who has a reason to feel on the outside or weird.

"I've been slowly slogging through them but I have this big back log.

"I feel horribly guilty about the ones that still haven't got a reply from me but it's kind of impossible to keep up but they all will eventually," she added.

Panti said she was going for the "Farrah Fawcett at the Oscars" look in a gold jumpsuit by James David Seaver for the premiere of her documentary film The Queen of Ireland last night.

The documentary was filmed over five years and follows Rory's journey from Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, to taking to the world stage with his alter ego Panti, who he describes a "a big cartoon woman".

Guests in attendance included actress Pauline McLynn, comedienne Katherine Lynch and stylist-turned-fashion designer Brendan Courtney.

"She is my hero and heroine all rolled in to one and she's probably the most important person in the country at the moment," McGlynn said.

"It was the year that the country grew up and we all fell in love with a giant drag queen."

The Queen of Ireland, directed by Conor Horgan, is in cinemas now. 

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