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Irish fashionista footballer pleads gay panic, demands apology from comedian

BY ROB SALERNO – A somewhat homophobic sketch show inspired an even more homophobic bar brawl between two Irish celebrities last week, with details just emerging now.

It seems Kerry footballer Paul Galvin was not amused by comedian Oliver Callan’s insinuation that Galvin’s “in the closet” way back in March while appearing on television station RTE’s The Saturday Night Show, where Callan performed impressions of several Irish and international politicians. The relevant bit starts at the seven-minute mark, where Callan is doing an overly camp impression of gay Irish presidential candidate David Norris:

Stick with it to the end for a Bill Clinton impression that sets a new standard for tastelessness and staleness.

Well, Galvin was not amused. He called watching it the most excruciating night of his life, since he was sitting between his parents, and the Galvins are, apparently, the only family in Ireland without any sense of humour. In the recording, Callan notes Galvin’s well-documented appreciation of skinny jeans and says he knows so much about fashion because of all the years he spent in the closet.

A little background here: in addition to being a footballer, Paul Galvin is a noted clothes horse who dabbles in fashion writing. 

And sometimes does photo spreads without clothes.

You’d think a guy who once published a “Fashion Manifesto” would have a bit of a sense of humour about being called gay, but apparently not. Not that the newpaper that published the manifesto was above making jokes itself:

As Galvin notes in his manifesto, Ireland isn’t really a fashion-forward country, Bono and Colin Farrell notwithstanding. Since “coming out” as a fashionista, Galvin’s been the butt of jokes about his sensitivity and sexuality.

Callan even recorded an impression of Galvin writing in his diary on a recent podcast he did for his Nob Nation show on RTE.

Galvin’s not amused and he’s even filed complaints with RTE.

Well, it all came to a head when Galvin and Callan bumped into each other in a bar in Dublin on Oct 19. Callan attempted to greet Galvin with a handshake; Galvin refused and called him a “c***” (no media reports say what the word was), then challenged Callan to a fight in the toilet.

"I only tried to fight him because he made a joke about me being gay” is essentially the gay panic defence, except even more pathetic.

Here’s a hint, Paul Galvin: if you don’t like people insinuating that you’re gay, stop inviting men to follow you into the toilet.

Here’s another hint: that sketch aired seven months ago. Let it go. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

Anyway, there was shoving and shouting and police were called. They’re now trying to sort it out with lawyers, but both parties want an apology from the other, which looks unlikely, since Callan is continuing to do impressions of Galvin on his podcasts.

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