FF councillor is 'forced to come out to shut down rumour mill'
A Fianna Fáil councillor says he was forced to "come out" as his sexuality was the subject of "rumour mills" which he wanted to shut down.
Cllr John Keogh, a public representative for South Roscommon and solicitor in Athlone, posted at length on Facebook saying the discussion surrounding his sexuality "has become somewhat of a distraction".
The politician said he "never really cared about whether people think I am straight, gay or bisexual".
"I have long believed that we all are born equal and that we should live in a society of equals where no person should ever suffer prejudice because of their race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or any other reason," he said.
However, despite the fact that he believed his sexual preference should be a "non-story", he felt obliged to publicly come out as "sadly we are not there yet".
"For that reason, I want to comprehensively shut down the rumour mills, once and for all, by publicly coming out as a member of the LGBT community," he said.
"I hope to see the day when a person's sexual orientation is no longer considered to be something that people feel the need to make public declarations in respect of and that people can live their lives peacefully and free from stigma, intimidation, prejudice and indignation."
Mr Keogh recognised that young men and women often struggle with their sexual orientation, and said that there should be an education programme in schools "with a view to stamping out prejudice".