For St. Paddy’s Day – a List of Bisexual Irish Folk

It’s time for St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday, March 17), and instead of wearing green or pinching someone who isn’t, you can peruse this list of Irish singers, politicians and historic figures who have a bisexual history.

Click on the links for more details about each of the people mentioned, and if you have other suggestions, please let us know on our Facebook page.

Kevin Sharkey. A Dublin-born painter, he wrote songs for Bob Geldof and Boney M and became a celebrity as well as an activist for same-sex causes in the United Kingdom. He first came out as gay, saying that he dated a police sergeant, and has been married to a woman in the past.

Nuala O’Faolain. An unnuala-ofaolaoinabashed bi journalist, reviewer, writer and TV producer, she hit it big as a New York Times Best Selling author with her memoirs “Almost There,” “Are you Somebody?” and “My Dream of You.” She died of cancer last May, but not without talking about her relationships with female journalist Nell McCaffery (who wrote her own memoir, “Nell”) and male lawyer John Low-Beers.

Eoin O’Duffy. Not a model bisexual, he was the leader of the Blueshirts, and a police commissioner. He was also Fascist who admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Sinead O’Connor. Nothing compares to this controversial pop singer who pissed off the Pope and announced she was bi after being married twice and had two children.

James Joyce.  Considered by many to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th Century, Joyce wrote the landmark novel “Ulysses” with some kinky things in it, and wrote some nasty S&M letters to his wife.Cathleen Finn. This activist, in 1992, helped lead the protest against the discrimination against GLBT marchers at the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade.

These are Irish bisexualsBrian Kennedy. The sweet-voiced Belfast-born singer said he came to terms with his bisexuality as a teen. His songs include “A Better Man,” “Won’t You Take Me Home” and “Now that I Know what I Want.”
His earliest romantic memories are linked to music. At 11, he had his first kiss with a girl to the sounds of Never Let Her Slip Away on the radio.Six years later, a drunken teenage Kennedy braved his first gay nightclub in Belfast city centre, and spotted a man drinking cheap red wine across the dance floor, to the sounds of Diana Ross’s Missing You. It was his first gay relationship and they dated for almost a year before Kennedy moved to London.
 Patrick Pearse. A poet, activist and leader of the Gaelic League, he was involved in the Easter Rising rebellion against British rule in 1916, which he was ultimately executed for by firing squad. Biographers and historians have pointed out his homo-erotic writings, although it was clear he liked women, too.
Brendan Behan. He was an ex-IRA man, saloon-loving iconoclast who had an affection for young boys, revealed first by Ulick O’Connor in his Behan biography. Despite having a devoted wife and fathering a child, Behan’s gay side frightened and disturbed him until his premature death in 1964.
Mary Dorcey. An Irish author, poet and novelist who wrote “Biography of Desire” and won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for Literature in 1990 for her short story collection A Noise from the Woodshed.

 King James IKing James ruled England, Scotland and Ireland and although there was a lot of controversy that he was homosexual, James did father several children by Anne of Denmark.

Oscar WildeOscar Wilde. Yes, he’s known for being arrested for fooling around with guys, and making a big stand about it, but this foppish renown playwright also had an eye for the ladies, too, and a rather successful, although tumultuous marriage to Constance Lloyd. They truly loved each other and after he first married her, Wilde told his other male friends that they must get married because it’s so wonderful. They had two children together, but after their second child, which she had difficulty giving birth to, their sexual relationship waned. That’s when a young man joined their household and became Oscar’s lover.
Kris Fisher. Bisexual Irish flamboyant cross-dresser who made a splash on reality television.
Michael Collins. The famed revolutionary leader, who was assassinated in 1922, was declared bisexual by a renown historian, but the idea was so controversial for the Catholic country that depictions of him have emasculated his diverse sexuality. In the original script of “Mick,” his bisexuality was pretty well spelled out, but even “Crying Game” director Neil Jordan was afraid of going to far with it and it was excised so it could be more palatable and understandable to U.S. audiences.

 Cathleen Finn. The bisexual daughter of Irish immigrants, she became an activist and worked on getting BGLT people into the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Eileen Gray. An Irish furniture designer and architect and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture, and a bisexual.

Bernard Lafferty. A penniless bisexual butler that heiress Doris Duke and their story was chronicled in the HBO movie “Bernard and Doris” starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes.

Mike Szymanski
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]