Beef encounter: Happy end to tale of Benjy the gay bull

Beef encounter: Happy end to tale of Benjy the gay bull
Mayo farmer Joe Kelly is reunited with Benjy the bull at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk.

Five years after preparing to consign him to the slaughterhouse due to his sexual orientation, the former owner of Benjy the gay bull has had an emotional reunion with the celebrity Charolais.

Benjy hit the headlines around the world after he was saved from the dinner table when animal rights and LGBT activists came together to campaign for a reprieve. 

A vet had broken it to Mayo farmer Joe Kelly that the reason Benjy could not inseminate cows was his sexual orientation — he had a fancy for cavorting with a young male calf.

After a flurry of publicity which included The Graham Norton Show and reached as far as Australia, money was raised, with the help of The Simpsons co-founder Sam Simon, to save the cream- coloured bull from the butcher and send him to an English animal sanctuary.

Now farmer and bull have come face-to-face once more.

On RTE's Documentary on One: Benjy the Little Gay Bull, Joe Kelly and his pal Joanna discover Benjy is living out his days at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk.

“How are you doing lad?” he asked as he approached Benjy in the field. “He’s so happy,” said his former owner. “He’s obviously treated well.”

Joanna was also happy to find that the little bull who caused such a sensation is still wearing his Irish tag. “He’s got so big,” she added.

Benjy is out to grass alongside another bull, Bernie, who was saved from the slaughter house after his owner found out he was sterile. “Wasn’t he lucky he ended up here as well?” said Joanna.

Sam Simon’s ex-wife Jennifer Tilly told the documentary it gave the animal rights advocate huge pleasure to help save the bull in the months before Simon’s death from cancer. 

“He was so intrigued by it. He felt like it was very unfair that Benjy should meet an early demise just because of his sexual preference,” she said.

Documentary on RTE Radio 1: Benji the little gay bull airs today at 1pm and is repeated tomorrow at 7pm and will be available to listen to here.


More in this Section

Balaclava-clad protesters join meat plant demoBalaclava-clad protesters join meat plant demo

Abducted businessman beaten and dumped on road in Co FermanaghAbducted businessman beaten and dumped on road in Co Fermanagh

Garda probe in Cork after woman in her 90s attacked and robbed in broad daylightGarda probe in Cork after woman in her 90s attacked and robbed in broad daylight

Inquiry urged amid rumours paedophile priest from Co Down was police informerInquiry urged amid rumours paedophile priest from Co Down was police informer


Lifestyle

Kya deLongchamps meets the man who is opening a new chapter on his native FermoyVintage View: Opening a new chapter on Fermoy's story

More From The Irish Examiner