Colin Farell has given his first interview discussing Ireland’s forthcoming equal marriage referendum and expressed his full support for the legislation.
Farrell recorded the interview with Claire Byrne via satellite link from LA for a new hour-long RTE current affairs TV programme. The programme featured a range of guests and audience members from all sides of the same sex marriage debate including Sharon James of the Coalition for Marriage who campaigned against the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK.
The Irish actor, whose brother Eamon is gay, recalled the bullying his brother Eamon experienced growing up:
“I remember him coming home with blood on his shirt, and he got plenty of beatings and he got just called names continuously… so he had a very, very, very tough time, a lot of cruelty, like real, absolute shameful cruelty that was placed upon him.”
Mr Farrell said he felt it was unfair that his brother had to marry his partner Stephen Mannion, in Canada.
“To see them every day live their lives as a happily married couple is an amazing thing, and to think that they had to leave their own country to do that is sad and disappointing and just grossly unfair, I feel.”
Farrell – who was the best man at his brother’s wedding – is a long-time supporter of BeLonG To, which combats homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
He then gave his support to the same-sex marriage referendum and said it would be an important step for Irish society.
“I carry Ireland with me everywhere I go, and I love my country deeply. This is my coming out of the closet, as it were, publicly and saying that I support this vote with every fibre of my being.”
Claire Byrne Live is broadcast on Monday nights at 10.35pm from January 19th on RTÉ One and RTÉ News Now.