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Out Irish Hurler Dónal Óg Cusack Gives Powerful Pride Speech: VIDEO

Cusack

Irish hurler Dónal Óg Cusack, who made headlines when he came out in 2009, gave a powerful speech to the Foyle Pride Festival in County Derry last week, the Irish Times reports.

Said Cusack:

"When I did come out to them (his teammates) we had lots of deep conversations. And their loyalty to me then and since then has been one of the most moving and meaningful things in my life. It’s been a great positive. So have all the encounters with young people thinking about coming out. All the meetings with people who took a bit of encouragement in taking big steps in their own lives....When I came out a few years ago I wasn’t making any big statement about myself I was following up on a promise I made to myself when I was younger. I was at a gay club in Cork and somebody recognised me as a hurler. I pretended not to be who I was and I felt sick afterwards. I promised I’d never pretend to be something that I wasn’t."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a gent. He's a major figure in one of the most revered sports in the nation. You can't sufficiently express how much he means to gay teens growing up in Ireland. The man's already a national hero.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Aug 27, 2012 11:04:51 AM


  2. This guy is the toughtest guy in the world playing the hardest game in the world.
    I wrote to him when he first came out.....he is a complete hero in the sporting world and an even greater hero in the gay community.
    I love that part of the speech where he refers to "The Gay Republic of Cork"
    Maybe he just reads the speech, maybe it's difficult to understand but it is one of the most profound reflections on what it means to grow up gay in Ireland......

    "Where one part of society thinks they can police another part.....whether on the terraces or otherwise...."
    Donal og has been so positive and affirmative for young gay people and this speech is huge and funny and poignant.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 27, 2012 11:11:07 AM


  3. It sounds like it was a probably a good speech, but I wish there was a transcript or captions because I couldn't understand half or more of what he said.

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 27, 2012 11:40:36 AM


  4. A fantastic speech by a fantastic athlete. Everyone is Ireland is talking about how momentous an occasion it is. Well done Donal.

    @caliban - There's a transcript available here;

    http://thescore.thejournal.ie/readme/donal-og-cusack-speech-foyle-pride-festival-571751-Aug2012/

    Posted by: Cburg | Aug 27, 2012 1:44:15 PM


  5. Bravo Zulu, Donal.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 27, 2012 2:02:50 PM


  6. @CBurg, thanks for the transcript! It truly is an excellent speech, witty in places but also wise and true. It was the sound recording quality and acoustics that made it hard for me to understand, not so much the accent, but I'm glad I took the time to read what he said.

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 27, 2012 4:58:46 PM


  7. I am ever conscious that it was the Court of Human Rights in Strasburg that forced the Irish government of change the law to decriminalise homosexual acts.......what a shame on that time. Donal Og Cusack refers to that in his speech.

    This man is a true colossus of integrity.

    Now, in Ireland, things are different ...every family has a gay son or daughter, there are gay theatre and film festivals and the biggest Pride parade ever.The straights even give ME work !!!!
    there are Civil Partnerships and a big push for Marriage Equality.
    People like Donal Og are just inspirational.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 27, 2012 8:56:49 PM


  8. I just wish those Gaels would learn to speak English properly. After all it has been imposed on them for almost 1000 years.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 27, 2012 10:50:18 PM


  9. Grow up Andrew.

    Posted by: arthur | Aug 28, 2012 8:54:07 AM


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