Story Courtesy Of Adrian Garci
Colin Farrell beat up bullies who verbally and physically attacked his gay brother, his sibling has revealed to the Irish Independent.
Eamon, the brother of the Hollywood star, revealed the extent of the bullying he received as a gay teenager in school and said his brother acted as his ‘protector’ in the face of homophobia.
When Eamon was 14, his head was violently forced into a toilet bowl by his bullies as they shouted out words like “fucking faggot”, “fucking queer”, “fudge-packer”, “pansy”, “nancy boy”, among others.
Eamon, who is 47 now, can still taste the dirty toilet water in his mouth. “The head down the jacks, and the bruises, you know, that was really disgusting, disgusting, because it was so visceral. It is so hard to forget because it was so cold.“It was that marble in Synge Street. It’s kind of like The Terminator that moulds into something else. The floor was all marble and the walls were all marble but so were the toilet bowls, they were that marble as well. They banged my head. I used to be shit scared. I would never go to the toilet on lunch break, ever. I would always ask to leave the class.”Does he retain the physical memory of that in his stomach when he remembers those times?
“Oh my God,” he says, literally breathing in at the thought. “If I drive past Synge Street now going up to Camden Street . . .I can remember the days. There is a fire exit at the side of the building and I used to hide in there all the time. I was 11 in junior school when I had my head flushed down the jacks.”
Eamon remembers the countless times he would have blood on his school shirt from being punched in the face and called abusive names. He remembers having his school-bag thrown out top windows, or holding in his stomach in pain, as he would be kicked up the backside or in the balls by the bullies.
“The wedgies were the worst. I used to go home with my balls black and blue. I was beaten up and I had black eyes.”
“The bullying started so early but I never let it get to me. It was always a struggle. So in the struggle and in the fight I found the strength to be who I was. I remember Boy George doing an interview [about receiving homophobic abuse] saying that the most important thing was to keep walking but to keep your head held high. And that the minute you drop your head or your shoulders, it is all over. I was very witty and sharp-tongued. Oh – I would rip them apart.”
This would include Eamon retorting with lines like: “That’s wasn’t what you were saying last night when I was riding your father!”“That would make them worse sometimes,” Eamon explains, adding that the kicks and punches raining down on his defenceless body might have been as painful as the words they threw at him, but he was determined not to let the experience break him, or, as we will see, shape him.
“Colin,” he says, “protected me. Now he is eight years younger than me, but he acted the part of the big brother. Because I’m not aggressive at all, or violent at all – I hate fighting. But he would do that for me. Colin would protect me. If someone called me names on our road he would go out and kick the shit out of them.”
“I remember one young fella out on the road shouting, ‘You Faggot Farrell.’ Colin went out and kicked the shite out of him. Honestly! The little size of him! He was a little terrier, but I. . .wasn’t.”Eamon remembers his earliest childhood memory was “the first time I was called a name. I had long hair. Someone called me ‘Girly.’ I remember then thinking, ‘Why are you calling me Girly? I’m not a girl. I’m a boy.’”
Eamon also told the Irish Independent how his brother first learned he was gay:
Little brother was watching him. One day in 1985 Colin looked under his big bro Eamon’s bed at home in Castleknock, curious at the box with a lock on it. I ask Eamon why Colin decided to look under his bed that day. “Because it was locked. Because it was forbidden – he was always after what’s forbidden. . .”“So, he opened up the box,” Eamon, who has more than a touch of the Robert Downey junior about him, continues the story. “He was only 9 or 10. He saw Gay Community News. He went, ‘Oh My God, Eamon’s gay! It’s true what they’re all saying.’ He went downstairs and he said to mum and the girls [sisters Claudine and Catherine]. ‘Will you sit down at the table? I’ve something to tell you.’ Because he was a little man!” laughs Eamon now. “He said to them: ‘Eamon’s gay.’”“And mum says,” laughs Eamon – who told his mother Rita about his sexuality when he was 12 – “‘We know.’”
“And Colin burst into tears, because he was only about 8 or 9. ‘Why didn’t you tell me!’”
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