Ireland: Gay Byrne backs gay marriage

Nick Duffy February 7, 2015
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Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne has confirmed his support for same-sex marriage.

The legendary presenter – who helmed The Late Late Show for 37 years – confirmed his backing for equality, ahead of the referendum on civil same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland.

Speaking on Irish Times podcast Róisín Meets, the 80-year-old said of equal marriage: “Yes, I think it’s long overdue. You must remember, I lived through people walking out of the Late Late Show because we were discussing the possibility of decriminalising homosexuality.

“They walked out of the studio because we were discussing the possibility of divorce being legalised in this country.

“I lived though all of that, so to find ourselves in this situation now, it would have been unimaginable to the people of Ireland, even probably 10 years ago.

“I would be in favour of it, yes. I think it probably will pass.”

He added of his own stance: “I have been described at one end of the spectrum by a TD who said he had absolute proof that I was a communist and I was being paid directly from Moscow. At the other end of the spectrum, I have been described as a dull, boring, conservative priggish Irish Catholic.

“The truth is, that in the middle, I’m just shallow and worthless.”

Despite retiring from RTE, the host recently interviewed Stephen Fry – in which the comedian made controversial comments about God.

Ireland is set to go to the polls on the issue in May, while a raft of other reforms – including same-sex adoption – are also in the works.

Listen to the full interview below. (Same-sex marriage is discussed from 53 minutes)

More: Europe, host, Ireland, Ireland, Irish, late late show, marriage, referendum, Television

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