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Legendary Cork hurling goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack has revealed that he is gay in his new autobiography.
Cusack is one of the first Irish sports personalities to come out of the closet. The Cloyne star made the revelation in his autobiography “Come What May."
“I tried to go out with women to make sure, to see what kind of feeling it gave me," the triple All Ireland medal-winning hurler is quoted as writing in The Belfast Telegraph.
“I went out with nice women and good women, but sure, I still knew. I wanted something else. I get more out of men. I just do. Always have. I know I am different but just in this way. Whatever you may feel about me or who I am, I've always been at peace with it.”
In the book Cusack explains that he was in South Africa when he got a call from his sister telling him that rumors of his sexual orientation were flying about.
The 32-year-old returned home and says that coming out to his family was one of the hardest things he has had to do in his life.
Reaction from Gay and Lesbian groups in Ireland has been hugely supportive.
Michael Barron of BeLonG, an Irish of gay, lesbian and bisexual support group, told the Irish Examiner newspaper that it was a first in Irish sporting culture.
"It’s very brave of Dónal Óg to come out," he said. "It’s a real landmark in Irish culture for someone of his standing to come out. He’s the first major sports star and that will have a positive impact."