NEWSREADER Aengus Mac Grianna has told of receiving verbally abusive and homophobic messages from members of the public.
The RTE anchor revealed he has been sent numerous letters over the years while working at the national broadcaster, but tries not to pay them any attention.
Mac Grianna, who will wed his long-term partner Terry Gill this June, said he considers hate mail one of the major down sides to being in the public eye.
"That's the nature of it and you do get odd things coming in from time to time," Mac Grianna said. "Anything I've ever received has almost gone straight into the bin and forgotten about immediately, so I don't pay any time to it and I move on."
It comes after the revelations that his newsroom colleague Sharon Ni Bheolain suffered a six-month ordeal at the hands of a stalker, who regularly sent vile emails and letters.
Mac Grianna was speaking at the launch of the VIP Style Awards, sponsored by Peter Mark.
"Normally they're from people who are not very well and you look at it and just say, 'okay this is a vile rant and they're not well', and leave it at that," Mac Grianna said.
"There are always going to be people out there who don't like you. For any of us, working in television means you're in people's home and, rightly or wrongly, people feel that they know you. That's the business we're in, so you can't hide."
Mac Grianna came out about his sexuality after leaving school.
"Homophobia has many levels to it. Wouldn't it be great in a society where you've never had to check yourself, and your energies are going in to who you really are, rather than hiding who you really are?" he said. "But once you do it, I found that everything else fell into the right slot and I could start to be who I am."
There's four different categories in the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards this year with some of our best-known glamour pusses fighting it out for a coveted gong.
Battling it out in the Most Stylish Woman category will be RTE's Claire Byrne who will be going up against her Prime Time co-host Miriam O'Callaghan.
Also included there is Herald columnist Rosanna Davison alongside Amy Huberman, Sinead Desmond, Mary Kennedy and Roz Purcell. In the Most Stylish Man category, it's regular entrant Mark Cagney from Ireland AM who'll be fighting it out with Fine Gael election hopeful Kenny Egan.
For Most Stylish Newcomer, it's going to be handbags at dawn between beauties like Nadia Forde and Suzanne Jackson.
SEE DIARY, PAGES 20-21