The story just emerging about Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas is that he's gay and HIV positive, facts which he's kept secret up till now, even, presumably, from the woman he duped into becoming his wife and thus giving him cover to operate in the macho world of rugby union. He revealed those facts only because a British tabloid was about to do an expose. What would be your opinion of Thomas? I'll bet it's different to those that swamped the reader comments section of Journal.ie. Here's the single most popular: "God bless him. Hiding being gay for years hiding the HIV also. The years and years of stress that he put himself under is sad." And the second-most popular "Hats off to him. He's a hell of a role model for anyone." And "A role model for anyone who has an interest in compassion and humanity."
Yes, the readers acclaim as a role model someone who lied about his sexual orientation, engaged in degenerate homosexual behaviour which predictably resulted in contracting the deadly HIV virus, who may or may not have subsequently put his wife and male partners at risk and who fessed up only because he was going to be outed anyway. How sick in the head do you have to be to acclaim such a person as a role model? Seriously? How deep must run the poz in what in ancient times was known as The Island Of Saints And Scholars....
Then again....The villagers of Oughterard (inexplicably means 'high cream' in Irish) in Co. Galway were recently presented with the opportunity to celebrate diversity up close and personal. And turned it down in the most emphatic fashion. "A silent protest has been held in Oughterard, Co Galway in response to the potential development of a direct provision centre for asylum seekers at a disused hotel in the town. Around 1,500 people [in effect everyone in the village] attended the protest with a number holding placards stating ‘No to Direct Provision for Oughterard' and ‘Oughterard says No to Inhumane Direct Provision Centres'.
"Local TD [Member of Parliament] Noel Grealish has come in for criticism for telling a public meeting on the matter earlier this week that the type of people to be accommodated in the centre would be "economic migrants from Africa" whom he described as "spongers". "I can guarantee you it is not the persecuted Christians and Syrians that are coming here. It is the economic refugees that is coming in from Africa that are trying to get across the Mediterranean and ended up in Europe and ended in up Ireland and ended up in Oughterard," he said."
Oh dear. Predictably he was ordered to recant by the chattering classes. But, tellingly, he did not. In fact he didn't even dignify the instructions with a response. RTE, the official State propagandist broadcaster felt constrained to help the misguided villagers back to the path of righteousness. They did this by conducting a survey of how Wicklow town was getting used to having had a similar asylum centre installed there a few years back. And indeed the broadcast interviews would suggest that everything was going swimmingly. Yes, those Nigerians, Somalis, gypsies and Pakistanis were proving a boon to the town. No, schools and hospitals were not overwhelmed, and no, there's been no increase in crime rates. Now you bigots in Oughterard - put that in your racist pipes and smoke it! Mind you only three interviewees were featured. From a town with a population of 11,000. Still, as a state-funded broadcaster with a charter to present fair and honest material I'm sure RTE's interviewees accurately reflected the views of the townsfolk. Don't you?at 16:59