ALAN HUGHES v OLIVER CALLAN
In a year which saw marriage equality voted into law in Ireland, you would have thought that it would be nothing but unbridled joy for some of Ireland’s most high profile gay personalities. And you’d be completely wrong…
Back in October TV3 presenter Alan Hughes got down on one knee, while the TV cameras were still rolling, to propose to his partner Karl Broderick. While most of the viewing public considered this to be a sweet, spontaneous declaration of affection, comedian Oliver Callan, writing in his newspaper column, didn’t see it that way, claiming that “gay people, amid a supposed spirit of equality, are now choosing to mimic any ghastly wedding custom.”
Alan quickly hit back, pointing out that Oliver himself had publicly announced he was gay on live TV, and branded him “a bitter old queen.” Ouch!
But it didn’t end there, because quick as a flash, Oliver took offence to being called old, suggesting that Hughes “is more than 20 years my senior and looks like he slept in formaldehyde.”
The spat seems to have died down since then, with Hughes saying that he has put it behind him, and Callan moving on to other targets to send up, but for a short while, it looked like there might be blood on the carpet…
LOUIS WALSH v RONAN KEATING
Some feuds explode, hog the headlines, then die down amid hugs and kisses a short time later. Some, however, roll on for years… and so, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the spat between Louis Walsh and Ronan Keating.
They used to be such great friends, were Louis and Ro, as mentor and pupil in Boyzone, and then co-managers of Westlife in the early days. But something happened to get Louis’ back up, and his comments about Ronan’s solo career over the years have been less than kind, with his description of Ronan as being “a karaoke singer” and “the new Cliff Richard” being some of his choicest.
This summer, Ronan hit back, saying that “Louis has a tendency to say things. It’s about making things up and there’s a level of bitterness that you see from that.” And on the anniversary of Stephen Gately’s death in October, Louis couldn’t help himself again, commenting on how nice Stephen was but, in a veiled reference to other Boyzone members, stating that “Most of them are very ungrateful, they just turn into monsters,” before adding about Ronan that “I don’t care for him.”
Really, Louis? We’d never have guessed!
BRIAN KENNEDY v CIAN HEALY
An unlikely spat this one, as you’d have thought that gay crooner Brian Kennedy and prop forward Healy would have little to talk about. But when Cian, who is actually a very vocal supporter of marriage rights for gay couples, made a joke about going to a gay pride concert, light-heartedly tweeting the hashtag #BacksToTheWall, Kennedy became incensed.
“Backstothewall?? I didn’t think anyone talked like that anymore. How deeply disappointing in one so young,” tweeted Brian, slamming the Irish star for using language he considered homophobic. A quick apology followed from Cian, reminding everyone that it was only a joke, to which Kennedy then responded with the words “You clearly don’t get it. At least you had the good grace to reply. #FoodForThought.”
And so, as quickly as it started, the fight between Kennedy and Healy was all over. And we’re sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Brian reflected on who he was picking on, and suddenly realised that he might bump into the man mountain one day…
SINEAD O’CONNOR v WELL, JUST ABOUT EVERYONE…
Sinead has never been afraid to voice her opinions, and has used her website and facebook page over the years to publicly criticse people, with her tirade against Miley Cyrus hitting the headlines in 2013 and 2014.
This year, however, her anger moved closer to home. In September, Sinead took to Facebook to post a sarcastic message to her brother, well-known author Joe O’Connor, which started with the words “I’d just like to say thanks to my brother Joseph, for once again being the most cruel of human beings I have ever encountered…”
In November, after an apparent breakdown, Sinead again took to Facebook to lash out at various unnamed former lovers. “I never want to see or hear from any of you again,” she wrote. Why were you here when you’re the ones who put me here???? Murderers. Liars. Hypocrites. All of you. You caused this.”
Sinead has had her well-publicised troubles in recent times, and it’s a shame to see the girl with the voice of an angel behaving so erratically. Let’s hope that 2016 sees her finding some peace with herself, and the rest of the world.
JOE BROLLY v MARTY MORRISSEY
It all kicked off in the RTE Sports studio last summer, when GAA pundit Joe Brolly was commenting on the unattractive style of play of a certain county. “I’ve referred to Cavan in recent years as the Black Death,” said Joe, “because the football has been as some people have said, as ugly as Marty Morrissey.”
Now you can dismiss this as an off-the-cuff remark, which came out of Brolly’s mouth before he had a chance to engage his brain. You may even consider it to be a sign of jealousy at the great man, as Marty commands not just respect for his sporting knowledge, but a huge female following the length and breath of Ireland.
But what cannot be denied was that Brolly had, as Marty himself commented “stepped over the line.” After a quick dressing down by RTE’s head of sport, Brolly apologised for the comment, and Marty’s reaction was a credit to the man. “I was disappointed,” said Marty, “but to be honest Joe has apologised which I have accepted.”
The result of that uneven match was there for all to see. Brolly 0, Morrissey 1.