Limerick Psychology Masters student Colin Carmody was crowned first runner up with Wexfordman, banker, Patrick Beary placed third. 19 year old barman Conor O Kane from Strabane was crowned Mr Gay Northern Ireland.
“This is the eighth year of our nationwide hunt for a positive role model, particularly for isolated rural young gay people and we have a first class winner in Robert” , said Executive Producer Brian Merriman. Robert and his colleagues faced a public vote, three interview rounds, a HIV fundraising challenge and a panel of five judges in a contest featuring clubwear, formalwear and top South African designer Bone Wear.
The contestants raised a record breaking, recession beating, total of 19,000 euros for the New Fill HIV service at St James Hospital, Dublin, described by Dr Dominic Rowley as ‘securing this vital service for another year’. Visiting President of Mr Gay Europe Tore Aasheim declared the Mr Gay Ireland as ‘the best competition of its kind worldwide’.
Mr Gay Ireland has to date raised almost 130,000 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.
Twenty three heats were held countrywide and we have entrants from 18 to 34 from Tyrone to Clare, to Kilkenny and Dublin, including a transsexual gay man, and contestants from Brazil and Canada amongst the top 16 selected from over 120 entrants. Mr Gay Ireland has been hugely successful in international competitions having won the first Mr Gay World title and second and third places in Mr Gay Europe. Tall, dark and handsome, Robert O Bara will now represent Ireland in the European championship in Prague and at Mr Gay World as part of Outgames 2013 in Antwerp.
Artists starring in this year’s Grand Final include Asian pop star ‘Baby M’ flown in from the Japan to star in the final alongside Irish TV star singer Peter Smith and boyband Level 5. This year’s Judges included Miss Universe contestant 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 was hosted by Orla Barry from Newstalk and Darren Kennedy’s recent TV documentary ‘Gay Daddy’ was widely acclaimed.