A Sigh Is Just A Sigh



In October 2001, the GAA threatened legal action with the makers of GI (Gay Ireland) accusing the magazine of ‘bringing the association into disrepute’ over the use of county jerseys [Kerry, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kilkenny and Mayo] in chap-on-chap billboard snogs.

18 years later…


The GAA licences official Gay Pride county jerseys.

Good times.

Hon Mayo.

GAA’s involvement in Dublin Pride ‘isn’t just a token gesture’ (Sky News)

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52 thoughts on “A Sigh Is Just A Sigh

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      ya can. and if there was anyone who could block you, it’s not the GAA. They don’t own the rights to individual county brands, although an entitled bully organisation like that certainly would believe they do.

      1. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

        I actually remember a very bitter dispute between PremierView (the Tipp ultra lads at the time) and the Tipp County Board over them using the Crest on the site

        The County Board were more aggrieved at various commentaries so used their trademark rights to act the ends in ox
        Lowry might well have been still involved there at the time
        Ara’ again
        This must be 20 year ago
        But we never had any hassle on Clarehurlers at the time
        Unless Mattie and Ger kept it between themselves
        Although I doubt they kept stuff like that from me

    1. Alex

      Homosexuality is no big deal in Ireland anymore. I think that this pic is a weak attempt by Pride to try and create controversy where none exists.
      Still a good pic though

      1. Ian-O

        But (if I have you and the story above right) the picture is from 2001 so it would have been a big deal back then?

        I have no problem with the GAA taking issue with anyone using their emblems and the like without permission, but to use the term ‘bring the game into disrepute’ is a bit much now. But I have heard a lot of positive noises about how the GAA is trying to be so much more inclusive so lets be glad of that? Maybe they are not doing a good job of it, but they are trying it would appear (and please correct me if I am wrong on this?)

  1. Conall

    Who set up GI and what happened to it? A story there for Broadsheet to cover, I am sure! It would be interesting to know what celebrities were supportive of it.

      1. Conall

        Interesting quite positive piece here on the ad from the American Irish “Irish Echo”.

        “Celebrating its launch this week is the country’s first gay lifestyle magazine, Gi (Gay Ireland). Heralding this cultural milestone is an ad campaign plastered on billboards throughout the country. The artwork in the ads features male models, posing as GAA players, in passionate clinches. The pictures are accompanied by the tag line, “Relax. It’s a gay thing.”

        Gi magazine (the “i” is small, presumably to avoid confusion with military titles) is the brainchild of Irish publisher John Ryan, whose last major project was the successful VIP magazine. The title is aimed primarily at the gay male community, and will feature lifestyle issues, celebrity interviews, fashion news and politics.

        Ryan told the Irish Star that his reasons for launching the publication were twofold: it was commercially viable, and it’s a “reasonably important magazine” for its target audience. And what’s with the GAA ad theme? “We wanted to capture the epitome of Irish masculinity,” said Ryan.“The GAA footballer and hurler are the last word in Irish manhood.”

        I am sure Frilly Keane would agree with the last sentence!

        Is the John Ryan quoted in the piece John Senior of Bloomsday fame or John Junior of this house?

        1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

          Conall, Brian Finnegan (now with GCN) was the editor and myself and Melanie Morris were the publishers. It was a lovely looking mag but we couldn’t get the ads.

        2. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

          Oddly enough Conall
          My dream man
          Is neither a hurler or a footballer
          And wouldn’t know John Fenton from John Troy

          A few other things while I’m here;

          I’ve only just been reminded that on a BS.tv Pride special last year I wore my Cork jersey
          Arguing that PRIDE is not just a gay quare whatever yer having yerselves thing

          When those billboards launched back in the day they were the biggest talking point in the GAA since Jimmy Cooney and the sit-in
          I remember insisting that the lads were too good-looking to be Kerry players so everyone should calm down
          And posting something about Gi not using Kilkenny lads ’cause no money would pay someone to kiss those ugly apes in public
          Needless to say I got the usual aggro from the usual suspects

          Yet. Now. What 20 years on
          That campaign remains the most powerful and impactful of any launch
          In any market

          So JR Jnr can still hold on to that All Star
          Happy Pride everyone

          I’m walking with Marco tomorrow so if you see us around Merrion Sq please do say hi

          Wait’ll you see what he’s doing with me hair

  2. Conksi

    No proud Kerryman I know would ever stick the gob a Galway fella

    In fairness that arguably the best irish magazine cover (i’m sure it was a cover as well as a billboard campaign on its launch… )

      1. Conksi

        Ah, 2001 a distant blur.
        Okay so best Oirish guerilla marketing campaign ?!? I’m trying hard to give away this damn award – so somebody just take it

  3. GiggidyGoo

    The caption uses a line from the song ‘as time goes by’

    Another line from that song is

    ‘Woman needs man, and man must have his mate’

  4. Termagant

    Main problem here is when you put Gi I hear “gee”

    Am I allowed say gee on Broadsheet?

    1. Conall

      GI pronounced that way would have been an excellent name for a lesbian magazine in fair.

        1. Conall

          The more you act like a lady, the more [we’ll] act like gentlemen!

          (adapted from Sydney Biddle Barrows – the Mayflower Madam)

        1. Lilly

          Just seeing this now, thanks Frilly. Helping me build my GAA glossary from ground zero.

  5. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

    The amount of times Ive seen this billboard ad
    And the bakes if threads over the years
    And comments going into the thousands

    I’ve only just noticed the Galway lad grabbing a bitta boob as well as the shift

    Randy divil

    I suppose they’ve all summer now ta shift and whathaveya

    Maybe that’s were it went wrong Galway

  6. SOQ

    Fair play John but from your own link- at present, there is no current senior intercounty men’s player in hurling or Gaelic football who is openly gay.

    I am not arguing for some sort of ‘positive’ discrimination but any family which treats a member as less or different is going to loose them.

    1. Al Bin Man

      maybe none of them are gay

      It’s not compulsory

      l assume you’re going to a minstrel show tomorrow ?

      1. SOQ

        Over 1000 players and not one gaymer among them? It’s kind of a weird one where team mates know but it is kept out of the public domain.

        I’m not judging anyone for that as playing ability is what counts and there is no rule that someone must come out but still, some representation would be good.

        By the minstrel show you mean Pride then yes I am.

        1. Bertie Blenkinsop

          Frilly would be better informed than me but I don’t recall any negativity when Donal Og came out, my recollection was that he got a lot of support and then it was business as usual.

          1. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

            Ah He was no stranger to aggro
            But not for being gay, and I don’t think his coming out was even news to any of us

            He was never the most popular lad in hurling
            I used to call him cabbagemeself
            And he was always the only Cork lad cribbing about stuff on the GAA Boards

            He got fierce lucky there after the ’98 League win and their u21 win that same year, and then the 99 senior (hahaha KK)

            So coasted for a while on the back of his neighbours Joe Deane and Collars Up Mickie Mickie, and of course his club mate and cousin, The Rock kept his @ss in the game in those early years

            But TBF to the lad his game improved enormously in the latter half of his playing career
            However he’s no *Nash or Cunningham and he knew that so used other ways to get ahead

            Like his getting the lad I used to have to identify as He who cannot be named for legal reasons to do his bio
            Along with slagging off Cork supporters and players via his Irish Times column
            Anyone remember Spotty Imposters
            Donie might have hid behind Gardiner, but that last Cork Strike was all his doing, pulling and stirring

            Also his conduct and actions as head of the GPA never rested well with anyone
            He was always an obnoxious self-righteous hard man blowhole

            I’ve never heard or witnessed anyone comment about his sexuality
            A few p155heads in the terraces maybe
            But he was no stranger himself for stirring it up with opposing supporters behind the posts.

            Frankly, if he ever got a slap or dig off someone, on or off the field, it was probably deserved
            He has a big trap and a big opinion of himself
            And his relationships with Humphries and the poison dwarf Fitz would have got him more aggro than anyone he was sleeping with
            And that’s a fact

            *Anthony Nash imo is the best No 1 Cork has ever had, and should have been player of the year 2018.

          2. Al Bin Man

            His book is absolutely fantastic though Frilly.
            It was a real eye opener for me, and I read a good few sports bios, that for me was one of the best. ( reading Tiger woods now and it’s also good for different reasons). I got the impression, correct me if I’m wrong, while they weren’t the most talented ever Rebel selection, they made their own way with graft and pure Rebel spirit, sadly lacking today. Also in Jimmy Barry Murphy and Ger Cunningham, you’re referring to two of the finest players ever to play the game, at least in my opinion, a bit churlish to compare to those?

          3. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

            Talk about just wanting to get a dig in for the sake of it

            I wouldn’t touch anything written by that convicted Paedophile
            Nor would I contribute a royalty

            Where did I mention JBM?

            Lookit I’m off out now for the day
            But I’ll try and keep it picked out for ya
            So you can keep up with the durty elbows

          4. Al Bin Man

            ah for jaysus sake!

            We didn’t know he was so inclined at that time.
            Anyway it’s a great book and he was a great writer as well, don’t be so narrow-minded please.
            You’re better than that.

            I brought in other greats of the era of Ger for context – you know- it’s a team sport ?

            Don’t worry I’ll be keeping the umpire in here fierce busy as usual, he/she’s a fussy oul divil, keeps consulting Hawkeye every time I chance one from the wing or even a corner position
            Have a good day out

          5. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

            Didn’t know!!!!!
            WTF planet have you been on

            You couldn’t even wonder why under age camogie was featured in his column without getting a cease and desist
            Naw’ mind again and again and again

            And he’d all his pals rowing in him behind him
            Slagging off fantastic contributors, some of best writers I’ve ever known btw, on the forums
            Even his own employer did a lot more than turn a blind eye
            He even had people blocked and banned across a load of platforms
            Think all the 125 reasons I love the GAA that were on the buses back then were all his?
            Ever hear of Gary Sliotar
            His column during the last Cork Strike was a disgrace

            Guess who coined the phrase
            More sinned against than sinning
            He must have known he’d have need of it one day
            Well done AlBi

        2. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

          You have an ugly craving to out and doxx people
          You’re a bitter spitful gossip
          Like do you even attend games?

          Reality Check
          It’s no one’s business on match day who a player sleeps with
          As long as they get the job done on the pitch
          What business is it of yours?
          The supporters, club and team mates of any player only care about performance, results and player welfare

          Learn to mind your own business

          1. Al Bin Man

            That’s exactly what I said (as well) and it wasn’t posted! Talk about a double standard

            Anyway very well said Frilly , agree 100%

    1. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

      T’was in fairness
      But only by a year or so

      However that campaign wouldn’t have had the same impact two or three years down the line

      I think JR and the Gi team
      Deserve some form of establishment recognition because they definitely changed the tone and the conversation
      And brought PRIDE, acceptance, and equality rights forward by a number of years

      Of that I have no doubt
      Because I was an established player across the GAA forum’s at the time
      And the discussions/ threads going, btw remember we’d have very light moderation too
      Would go into hundreds and more
      I promise ye
      Players being gay or whatever didn’t dominate at all

      It was all blaggarding, bloggarding and messing
      Stuff about handbags, fancy shower gel, and lads with matching kit for training
      Or telling fellas there were draws for match tickets and they should pick up a copy and try their luck
      Or one of my own openers Out For The Match
      Jaysus knows where all that content ended up

      Anyway Lil
      Have a good one hon’

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