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Irish hurling star Donal Og Cusack is often heckled by bigots

Irish sports star Donal Og Cusack opens up about coming out

\"Irish

Irish hurling star Donal Og Cusack is often heckled by bigots

Donal Og Cusack, who became the first major Irish sportsman to come out earlier this week, has gone into further detail of the day he came out to his family.

Cusack, who was appearing on Irish TV, talked of coming home from South Africa on a team holiday early to deal with the speculation regarding his sexual orientation.

The triple All-Ireland medal winning goalkeeper described the conversation he had with his father on his way back from the airport.

"We talked about everything and anything except about what was being said, which is probably typical of an Irish father-son relationship, as if nothing was happening."

Once home, Cuasck called his parents and brother and sister into the sitting room and told them he was gay. Cusack added that he thought his mother knew all along that he was gay but that up until that day he had never told them openly.

His father, in some shock, told his son that they would get him "fixed."

Cusack was on Irish national television on Friday night when he appeared on RTE’s The Late Late show and was interviewed by Ryan Tubridy.

When asked why he felt he had to tell his story Cusack said: "For myself I have been involved in a number of different situations and I wanted to bring closure to a number of things,' he said.

"I almost felt a duty, because of my own personal situation, that by me talking about it if it could help maybe a young boy or a young girl that found themselves in the same situation then that would be great, and that was definitely one of my goals."

Before the interview ended Cusack read an e-mail that his publisher Penguin had received and passed on to him.

“It was with tears in my eyes that I read the article about Donal Og Cusack in the Indo this morning. Something in the words struck a chord with me. I am generally not the type of person who sends letters to newspapers or writes to people that I don't know about subjects in the media, but the article this morning moved me so much that I felt compelled to write this e-mail. 

"As someone who is not out to my family yet, I can attest to the mental anguish every time you have to lie to those closest to you or change a pronoun or every time someone introduces a boyfriend or girlfriend to the family and you realize that you won't be able to do the same.  I am not Irish and I have to admit that  I don't follow hurling that closely, but I would be very glad if you could let Donal Og know that today he has one more fan and that he has given me a bit more courage on my journey to try and come out to my own Dad."

He also paid tribute to his teammates on the Cork Senior hurling team, saying they were a very mature group who showed loyalty to one other and always looked out for one another.

The keeper also touched on the abuse he received at some games, and though he said he was aware of the abuse at one particular match when the crowd jeered as his name was announced, he was prepared for all sorts of situation as a sportsman, before adding that he did feel for his father and family in the stands who also had to listen to the insults.

Cusack went on say that while his father was not "jumping up and down this week," he was made of "tough stuff."

 

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