Pat Kenny is ‘pretty stupid for an educated man’ – Kennedy

By Gillian Fitzsimons
Irish singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy branded Pat Kenny ‘‘pretty stupid for an educated man’’ at an LGBT talk held in DCU.

He criticised the RTÉ broadcaster after being the subject of homophobic remarks in the past.

As part of DCU’s Identity Week, a ‘gay in the media’ talk was held with special guest speakers Kennedy and IADT film lecturer Barry Dignam.

Both addressed the LGBT population of DCU and spoke about their experiences as gay men in the Irish media.

Kennedy said he felt it was “important for someone of my generation to sit down and talk to students about what it was like to work in the (media) industry as a homosexual.”

He said his status as an open homosexual altered people’s attitudes towards him in the industry.

He has previously been subjected to media rumours that he was involved in a sexual relationship with former Boyzone member Ronan Keating despite both persistently denying the claims.

Kennedy said the press coverage “lasted for about a year. It was full on abusing him, me, our families. They blacked out my face in pictures. They depicted me as a criminal.”

The singer feels that the media is still critical of homosexuals, stating “we’re still fair game to have a go at.” However, he thinks changing legislation is overcoming the stigma once attached to homosexuality. “The crown has been won, just go out and wear it,” he added.

Barry Dignam and his partner were the first gay couple to enter into a civil partnership in Ireland apart from those who had received an exemption from the State. Brian Kennedy described the moment as “a moment in history when people were delighted.”

However, Dignam shares Kennedy’s views on being “gay in the media.” He said “tonnes of people put themselves out there as gay and it stopped them getting jobs in the media.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke out this week, calling for an end to discrimination worldwide against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

[Pullout quote] : “Tonnes of people put themselves out there as gay and it stopped them getting jobs in the media.”

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