Cork barber 'refused haircuts to gay man and disabled boy'

Cork barber 'refused haircuts to gay man and disabled boy'

A Cork barber shop has come under fire after two customers - one a gay man and one a boy in a wheelchair - were refused haircuts.

Michele Giansanti, who previously had haircuts in the barber shop without any issue, said he was asked to leave the barber shop when his boyfriend Robert Nagle accompanied him and started explaining the haircut Michele wanted.

Michele told 96FM's Opinion Line that the incident happened just a few days ago. He told the show the staff member said: 'You may want to get this done next door. Thank you very much.'

"He had a very bad attitude...I'm gay, and I'm pretty sure that was the reason...My boyfriend is an Irish citizen, so it's not a country issue," he said.

A second caller, Mary, told the radio station she and her 13-year-old son decided to go into the same barbers for a haircut. Her son has mild cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair when he gets tired.

She said that when her son was unbuckling his safety strap to get into the barber chair, the staff member said 'I can't cut his hair' and "looked at my son like he was going to catch something".

When challenged, Mary said the man opened the door for Mary and her son to leave.

Mary said she went back to the barber shop later and challenged the man again. "He wouldn't look at me. He continued cutting somebody's hair," she said, while she asked him: 'What kind of person refuses somebody because they're disabled, especially a child?

"He's lucky I've mellowed over the years. I would have lamped him if I was in my 20s."

Efforts by 96fm to record comments from the barber shop at the centre of the allegations were unsuccessful. 96fm say the man refused to comment, and followed their reporter down to street to warn him not to come back.


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