“This is the eighth year of our nationwide hunt for a positive role model, particularly for isolated rural young gay people, said Executive Producer Brian Merriman.

Mr Gay Ireland has to date raised over 110,000 euros for gay and HIV charities and this year the contestants have been innovative in their efforts to support the New Fill HIV project at St James Hospital. “We are confident that despite the recession, thanks to the guys ingenuity, we will top the 10,700 euros raised last year for this vital project which restores facial muscles wasted by HIV treatment” continued Merriman.

Twenty three heats were held countrywide and we have entrants from 18 to 34 from Derry to Clare, to Kilkenny and Dublin, including a transsexual gay man, and contestants from Brazil and Canada amongst the top 18 selected from over 120 entrants. Mr Gay Ireland has been hugely successful in international competitions having won the first Mr Gay World title second in Mr Gay Europe,

Artists starring in this year’s Grand Final include Asian pop star ‘Baby M’ who has flown in from the Philippines to star in the final alongside Irish TV star singer Peter Smith and boyband Level 5. This year’s Judges include model Alyson Boyle, Irish Independent Associate Editor Bairbre Power, Creative Director of Peter mark, Micheal Doyle, the President of Mr Gay Europe, Tore Aasheim and Executive Producer Brian Merriman. The final will be hosted by Orla Barry from Newstalk and Darren Kennedy’s recent TV documentary ‘Gay Daddy’ was widely acclaimed.

Contestants have had a busy few weeks fundraising, getting votes for the online voting www.mrgayireland.ie , preparing for three interview rounds, and a club wear, formal wear and swimwear round sponsored by top South African design company Bone Wear. Last year’s winner 21 year old Steven Baitson represented Ireland in Johannesburg at Mr Gay World and 20 year old Daniel Hegarty from Derry represented Northern Ireland in Rome in August at Mr Gay Europe.

Doors for this gay ‘all-ireland’ event open at 7.30 pm on Sunday October 28th at the Arlington Hotel, O Connell Bridge and tickets are available now online at www.gaytheatre.ie

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