herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Brendan left shocked by homophobic hate mail

bullying

Broadcaster and fashion designer Brendan Courtney has revealed his shock after he received an abusive homophobic message in the post.

The hate mail arrived at his business yesterday, just weeks before the May 22 referendum on same-sex marriage.

Scrawled on the postcard were the words "You are a real f****t, do you not understand" and "vote no no no".

"It's very, very disappointing," Brendan told the Herald.

"It's almost funny in it's own way that someone would make the time to go out and buy a postcard and stamp to tell me that."

However, the former Off The Rails host admitted he wasn't laughing after he first read the postcard.

"To be honest I got a bit of a fright," he said. "Over the years I've gotten a few nice letters from people, but as soon as I saw the word 'f****t' I just thought to myself 'Oh here we go'.

"I'm just glad they didn't send it to my house - then I'd be really freaked out.

"I've had the whole lot happen to me. I've been attacked, I've had social trolling and just the other day someone shouted 'f****t' at me in the street and now this."

Brendan, who runs fashion label Lennon Courtney with his former co-host on the TV show Sonya Lennon, is undeterred about encouraging a 'Yes' vote.

He said inequality encourages homophobic bullying.

"I know that the person responsible probably doesn't represent many of the people that are going to vote 'No'," he said. He added that letters like that "is why a 'Yes' vote is so important".

"Not voting or voting 'No' fuels people like this, it means people like that have a voice to be an anonymous bully," he said.

Brendan's comments came as voter registration ahead of the referendum concluded yesterday at 5pm.

deadline

Council workers in Dublin City Council were kept busy with Dubliners registering at the last minute. It received a "large volume" of registrations ahead of the 5pm deadline, a spokesman said.

Similarly, in Swords, council staff were kept busy with Fingal residents who wished to be added to the register in time for the vote.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Leo Vardakar said yesterday that any potential changes made by the Church in the event of a 'Yes' vote, would be for the Church to decide.

"Whatever rules the Catholic Church, and any Church, decides to make is their own business and it is their own prerogative," the TD said at an event for health professionals campaigning for a 'Yes' vote.

Terry Prone: PAGE 14

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