Irish superstar Colin Farrell is supporting an Irish-based campaign against homophobic bullying. This week the 31-year-old screen hunk, who is originally from Dublin, spoke out strongly in support of a well-known Irish LGBT groups anti-bullying campaign.
Farrell's commitment is particularly timely in the light of the recent bullying-related death of Irish schoolgirl Phoebe Prince, who was relentlessly bullied here in the U.S. before taking her own life.
Farrell's brother Eamon, 37, is gay and Farrell was the best man at his civil partnership ceremony in 2008. Farrell said: 'I can't remember much about the years of physical and emotional abuse my brother Eamon suffered. I was very small. The thing I do remember though, quite literally, is blood on his school shirt when he came home in the afternoon. The beatings and taunting were very frequent for my him and a constant part of his school years.'
'People are often afraid of difference. They feel that anything that causes fear, should be turned away from. My brother represented fear for so many people, but caused joy in my life. From a very young age he made me laugh with his intelligence and wit, made me aspire to his strength and goodness. He was to be embraced.'
'To many of the students of his school however he was to be feared. He was to be turned away from. I didn't understand it then, and I still don't now.'
Farrell added that bullying was 'torture' and 'potentially fatal' and should have no place in the world.
The Irish charity, which promotes equality, is called Belong To, and it will run a week long campaign to raise awareness of the issues faced by LGBT young people in Ireland.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore