Friday 15 December 2017

Ger Brennan: A sportsperson’s sexuality is irrelevant

“True freedom can only come with being honest to oneself and those close to you.”

Ger Brennan believes Irish attitudes to homosexuality are changing.
Ger Brennan believes Irish attitudes to homosexuality are changing.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Dublin GAA star Ger Brennan has said that a person’s sexuality is irrelevant following his groundbreaking speech in Croke Park

The footballer admitted he was taken aback by the reaction to his All-Ireland winning speech, but believes attitudes in Ireland to homosexuality are “changing slowly.”

The St. Vincent’s captain was hailed for his acceptance speech following the All-Ireland club final defeat of Castlebar Mitchels last month where he acknowledged the girlfriends and boyfriends in their support of the team throughout the season.

The reference to boyfriends was lauded by equality groups but the inter-county star says that the speech wasn’t prepared.

“There was no forethought put into it,” he conceded on The John Murray Show this morning.

“Going into a final I think it is bad luck to prepare speeches, so when I was speaking I was speaking openly and genuinely.”

“I’m someone who is open to people’s sexualities and it doesn’t bother me at all. I was surprised to hear how much media attention it did get.”

Brennan added that sexuality shouldn’t come into play when participating in sport and he believes the furore is more to do with traditional Irish thinking around homosexuality.

“As a member of GAA and the GPA, it’s all bout diversity, it’s all about inclusiveness.”

“If it’s a man or woman involved in the GAA, I don’t see how their sexuality has anything to do with it.”

“It’s about a person being happy and true to themselves.”

The defender praised the role of Donal Og and Conor Cusack in revealing their homosexuality in recent years, something that would have been unheard of previously.

“The Cusack brothers, Donal Og and Conor, they would have stood up, they were true and honest with themselves.”

“True freedom can only come with being honest to oneself and those close to you.”

“I suppose it does reflect on Irish society as a whole, whereby a couple of years ago to see a woman and a woman, or a man and a man, going hand in hand down the street would turn many heads,” he added.

Brennan is confident that attitudes are changing in this country, with the Association playing its part.

“It’s part of the ethos of the GAA the Gaelic Players Association to be inclusive of all people.”

“Who cares (about someone’s sexuality) if somebody is trying their best as a sportsperson to represent their clubs, their county or school?”

“The furore probably comes down to Irish society’s understanding of homosexual activity. It is something that is changing slowly.”

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