Friday 22 November 2019

Dominic Hannigan becomes first TD to enter same-sex marriage

Dominic Hannigan
Dominic Hannigan
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

LABOUR party politician Dominic Hannigan has become the first TD to enter a same-sex marriage – although he had to travel to London to do it.

The 49-year-old Meath East TD married his partner of over two decades, Chris, on New Year’s Eve.

“It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4”, he said.

Mr Hannigan heaped praise on Minister Leo Varadkar’s decision to come out at the weekend – and added he believes there are more politicians in Leinster House afraid to come out.

“I don’t think coming out is anything to be feared. It is up to each individual”, he told The Star.

“I do believe there are some people in this house who are gay but have not yet come out.

“There is nothing to be feared. You can gain a lot and feel happier. But you have to understand that people have very different reasons that make that decision very hard. They could be married, for example.”

Mr Hannigan came out publicly ten years ago when he was a local councillor.

He spoke out in support of Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who became the first serving cabinet Minister to come out as gay over the weekend – saying that he would be a role model for young gay people.

“Leo will be a very positive role model for them. It will help kids to come to terms with themselves. It will make a lot of people much happier in themselves and it will lead to better mental health.

“When you have made the decision to come out, that it what you have to do. There is no point in doing it on a small scale – get it done and dusted and then it ceases to be an issue”, he said.

Mr Hannigan sounded a note of caution on the equal marriage vote however, warning that complacency could see it fail.

“It will be a very difficult referendum to win. The enemy is complacency. No doubt, family and friends of the LGBT community will come out in force.

“But my worry is that people who do not know many people affected, getting them out to vote might be difficult.”

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