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Rory says maybe to Mayo


Rory says ‘maybe’ to Mayo

Ciara Galvin

GAY rights activist Rory O’Neill could tie the knot in his native Mayo.
Reflecting on an ‘exciting and thrilling’ weekend which saw his native county say ‘Yes’ to marriage equality by a majority of 52 percent, O’Neill said he ‘wouldn’t rule out’ his home county if he was to get married.
Rory, whose alter ego is drag queen ‘Panti Bliss’, exclusively revealed to The Mayo News that if he was to get married it would be ‘a small affair’.
“I already know of someone who was at a gay wedding in Ashford Castle two weeks ago and it was meant to be lovely, but if I was to get married I can say it would be a much smaller affair,” laughed the Ballinrobe native.
Speaking about how he felt that his home county passed the referendum by a majority vote, O’Neill said he was ‘thrilled’
“I’m thrilled that Mayo voted ‘Yes’. I would have liked if it was more than 52 percent, but I’ll take it,” said the Pantibar owner.
Asked what it will be like returning home to Ballinrobe after the referendum victory to perform his show ‘Panti Comes Home’ next Saturday, O’Neill said it was ‘important to know that people voted ’Yes’.’
“It’s important to know that people voted ‘Yes’ and it will be a nice little thing to come home, it would have been a bit weird and it would feel different coming back to Roscommon to do the show,” said O’Neill, making reference to Roscommon/South Leitrim being the only constituency in Ireland to vote ‘No’ to the referendum.
On the issue of how far the country has yet to come when it comes to gay rights, O’Neill said the country has come a long way since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993.
“The country has moved really quick. It’s great to know Mayo was on board and the size of the turnout shows people did really care,” he said.
Rory described the weekend’s events as ‘exciting and thrilling’ and said he was grateful for the outcome.
“I don’t know about the atmosphere in Mayo, but in Dublin it was a celebratory, joyous atmosphere. Even the frostiest ‘No’ voter would have found it pretty hard not to smile a little looking at the scenes”.
Ahead of Saturday’s ‘Panti Comes Home’ show Rory said the prospect of doing a show in Ballinrobe is still ‘nerve wrecking’.
“It will be lovely to have done it and especially a week after the ‘Yes’ vote, it’s a really appropriate weekend and now I’m looking forward to doing it more,” said O’Neill.
A camera crew will be following O’Neill and Panti to Ballinrobe for Saturday’s show to record some footage for inclusion in the forthcoming documentary ‘Queen of Ireland’.
Tickets are now sold out for the 400 seater show.