Popular gay pub Pantibar 'target of firebomb threats'

Catherine Devine

Pantibar owner Rory O’Neill revealed his gay bar is targeted by regular hate mail and firebomb threats.

Rory who is known for his drag persona Panti Bliss said he receives several gay hate threats every year.

“We get hate mail often saying we’re going to hell, scribbled in funny handwriting and always anonymous.

“Occasionally the threats get more sinister like firebomb threats but we don’t take them too seriously,” he told Independent.ie

He said that someone who would write such threats must have “mental health” issues and that they go straight to the bin.

“Even after Orlando there’s no point in being any more concerned. Dublin isn’t Orlando. Even if someone was disturbed enough to do something like that they wouldn’t have the same access to guns.

“You can’t live you life worrying about threats. I’m in Brussels at the moment which had terrorist attacks recently. You can’t stop living your life.”

Rory said that he employees more security than most other clubs.

“We’re in the city centre, so in general we need a lot of security but we have a little more than if we weren’t a gay club.”

In a new study released today, the National LGBT Federation and The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Action against Racism found that Ireland is in need of more hate legislation as bullying and violence are the biggest concern for the LGBT community.

The study found that over 85 pc of gay people living in rural Ireland don’t have enough support and want more opportunities to socialise.

“It doesn’t surprise me. We have some hate-crime legislation but gay people often feel isolated and alone, especially if they’re far from big urban areas,” said Rory.

“Ireland has made some amazing changes with the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum.

“Of course homophobia still exists. There is always work to be done, in particular helping young people in the LGBT community.”

The survey also found that gay and bisexual men want the lifelong ban on blood donations ended. Last week this ban was lifted.

The LGBT community also called for better access to health and mental health services and more awareness of inclusion in society.