THE OWNER of a gay bed and breakfast outside Gorey has strongly defended his decision to open a business offering day rates, as well as overnight rates, where all the bedrooms have an open-door policy, unless clients wish for privacy.
The Nanush Gay Bed and Breakfast has advertised its services on several websites, and its own website states that 'open door is much more fun and means you may get more fun with three or four guys at once.'
The owner, whose first name is Thomas, spoke to this newspaper yesterday, Monday, and said the media publicity for his new facility was a 'form of gay bashing', and pointed out that there are bed and breakfasts in Ireland which offer services to heterosexual swingers, and that this hasn't made it into the media.
Other local gay men have criticised the description of the Nanush facility saying it casts gay men in a bad light.
However, Thomas said he didn't believe his facility does throw a bad light on the gay community.
'I had lived in London and saw something like it there. When I moved back from London I decided to set it up,' he said. 'We're not the first, I can guarantee you on that.'
He pointed out that there is at least one other gay B&B in the North Wexford area, though he acknowledged his facility offers something different to the standard B&B.
He said that 37 people turned up on their opening night – including people who travelled from Cork, Galway, Dublin, Waterford and Wexford. 'It's been quite good,' he said. 'It's something people are looking for. We've hit a niche in the area.'
He said they are expecting opposition. 'Some people want it, and some won't,' he said. 'It's still early days yet.'
He said that it is only being targeted at the gay community, and ' they don't have a problem with it.'
' There was nowhere for them to go,' he said. ' The only other option is cruising.'
'We're not actually selling sex,' he pointed out. 'It's just a place where people can go, meet up with other people, in a safe environment, and not feel threatened.'
'Are you saying gay people aren't allowed to have a bit of fun?' he added, and contended that publicity will 'drive it underground again'.
'People will say the place is known now, and that will drive it underground again,' he said.
The facility's website states that the B&B is near Inch, but Thomas said that they are nearer to Gorey. 'We didn't want to give out the proper location and have random people turning up,' he said. 'We're a three-minute walk from Gorey town. Ninety per cent of our customers are married men, who have these feelings for other blokes, but have to go along with being married. These are happily married straight men, who know they are bisexual or gay.'
'Most of them have to go to dingy cruising spots otherwise,' he said. ' These are people who are afraid to put their pictures on websites to people don't know who they are.'
' This is absolutely not illegal,' he added. 'We don't sell sex. It's a safe discreet place for gay, bi, or curious men, to chat, talk or have fun with other gay men. There are no masseurs or rent boys.'