FG denies leaking story of councillor’s gay ad

FINE GAEL has denied it was behind a story leaked to a Wexford newspaper which exposed a Fianna Fáil councillor’s advert for a date on a gay website.

Gorey Town Councillor Malcolm Byrne has admitted advertising for dates at gaydar.co.uk, but says he did nothing illegal or immoral.

Fine Gael’s denial came as the public rallied behind the popular councillor.

North Wexford public relations officer Pat O’Toole questioned the source of the story in the Gorey Echo.

“The motivation for printing the story and the motivation of the source in supplying the story are merged, linked, aligned and blurred. I have no idea who the source of the story is. But what they did is revolting,” he said yesterday.

Fine Gael councillor Michael D’Arcy condemned the leaking of the story.

“This is a step too far. He is entitled to his privacy, just like any citizen.”

Fianna Fáil public relations officer Martin Murphy said everyone supports Mr Byrne.

A poll run on South East Radio yesterday showed that 96% of those who voted believe the sexuality of a public representative was not in the public interest.

Head of news with the station, Ellen Lynch, said: “The vast bulk of the people who called us or texted us are appalled by the manner in which Malcolm Byrne was treated.”

Mr Byrne was not available for comment yesterday. On Wednesday, he said: “I am a single, gay man who would love to meet another single gay man with whom I could spend time.

“Coming out is not an easy thing to do. My parents know and close friends do. I was forced into a situation where I was ringing around people last night, trying to tell them before they learnt about it in the paper.

“But I have no intention of walking away from politics. If that was the plan behind this, the only message I can give people is that I’m going to stay in there and stay fighting.”

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