Cork GAA star Valerie Mulcahy has come out in Donal Óg Cusack’s new documentary on being gay in Ireland.
She is the first high-profile female GAA player to come out publicly. She said she has done so to help other gay people feel comfortable.
Mulcahy, a nine-time All-Ireland winner, decided to go public with her sexual orientation during a broadcast with gay hurling legend and Gaelic Players Association president Donal Óg Cusack. In the documentary Cusack addresses the issue of being gay in 21st century Ireland.
He says Mulcahy is the real star of the documentary.
The documentary “Coming Out of the Curve” looks at attitudes towards homosexuality in Ireland and abroad. It will be aired next Monday on RTE One.
“Some of the most affecting images in the documentary are of Valerie and her partner kissing and holding hands,” said this week’s RTE Guide, the broadcaster’s magazine.
“Similarly uplifting is the story of young Cork hurler Chris McCarthy, who got in touch with the production during the making of the documentary.”
The Gaelic football player works as a school teacher in Cork City. She has been out among her peers and teammates for a long time.
However, there was a time when Mulcahy wasn’t as comfortable with her identity. As she recalls in the documentary, “When I was younger, I didn’t want to be gay.”
Mulcahy joins Nikki Symmons as one of the first openly gay female athletes in Ireland. In October 2014 Symmons spoke about her sexuality on RTE’s “Second Captains” sports show, alongside Cusack and former Irish rugby star Shane Horgan.
However, Mulcahy is making history as the first female GAA star to come out.
After the news broke yesterday, Twitter was full of support and thanks for Mulcahy’s decision to go public:
@valeriemulcahy looking forward to watching the doc Val, well done. See you Tuesday at WGPA launch!— Jacqui Hurley (@jacquihurley) January 14, 2015
Thank you @AshOrourke1 and @valeriemulcahy I am looking forward to hearing about your story!— Nikki Symmons (@Niksymmons) January 14, 2015
@valeriemulcahy Fair play Val. Leading the line...as per usual! �� pic.twitter.com/Z5KOUbecVA— Paul Geaney (@Geaney15) January 14, 2015
@valeriemulcahy is a role model for football and for life..well done and looking forward to the doc on Monday #comingoutofthecurve— WGPA (@WomensGPA) January 14, 2015