Bullies Have Feelings Too, Says Dublin School

Coláste Eoin is perhaps the most inclusive school in Ireland.  Not only does it welcome gay people, black people, travellers, disabled people and Eurovision songwriters, but it also makes room for those who hate them.

How tolerant could a school possibly be?

Coláiste Eoin is the school in Dublin that cancelled a workshop by Shout Out, a workshop designed to educate young people about homophobic bullying.   Apparently, after complaints from “a number” of parents, they decided to – in their words – postpone the workshop to allow room for the other side of the argument.

shout out

Think about the idiocy of that statement.  The other side of homophobic bullying, as if another side of homophobic bullying existed.

Finín Máirtín, principal of the school, deepens the hole every time he utters a public statement.  Apparently this “number” of parents, widely reported as two individuals, objected because the workshop was being delivered by an LGBT organisation.

And that, right there in front of you, is homophobia.  There’s no other word for it.

We’re told that  these two homophobic parents are prominent members of the extreme Catholic movements who campaign on various issues in this country,  so there you have it.  Two fanatics have prevented an entire school from receiving useful instruction on the reasons why bullying is wrong.  That happened in a State-funded school.

Apparently the fanatics, in defiance of reality,  didn’t want their sons singled out due to not attending the workshop, ignoring the fact that it wasn’t the school that kept their lads from learning about bigotry.  It was them.

How long will we tolerate fanatics imposing their will on State-funded institutions?

To be consistent, shouldn’t Coláiste Eoin postpone all anti-racism workshops?  Let’s hear from the Ku Klux Klan before we leap to judgement about this racism debate.

It would be interesting to hear what the other parents of Coláiste Eoin think about these two fanatics preventing their children from receiving vital information on living in harmony with their fellow human beings.




43 replies on “Bullies Have Feelings Too, Says Dublin School”

Personally I think this is a bit of a storm in a teacup, made prominent only by the fact that it is in some way associated with the latest “hip minority” i.e homosexual people.

Warning: this comment started off as a 4 line quip but has grown into a bit of a monster, sorry! Also, as I am pretty certain that at least one person who reads this comment will misinterpret it (rules of the internet), and flame me into oblivion, let me just state very clearly now that whilst I am sort-of-Christian, I am also Pro-equality, Pro-same-sex marriage, Anti-bigotry so please don’t try to stick a “homophobe” label on this, also, I don’t really know if I have any gay friends or not because it never occurred to me to label people by their sexuality.

Anyway. If it is indeed true that two raving lunatics could cause this course to be “postponed” then that’s a pretty sorry state of affairs, I agree. But do we know this to be the case for certain?

If this course were entitled “Do Not Bully Smelly People” and it was the “Smelly Crusties of Ireland Association” then I really don’t think anyone would give a flying shite about this, even though they’d be wrong not to.

I have a question. Why do we need a course specifically against Homophobic Bullying? How is this different to any other kind of bullying based on race, social status, physical appearance, intellectual ability, religious beliefs, etc. In this respect I can *kind of* understand how people might not immediately say “Hmm. A course about loving the gayness, delivered by gays that couldn’t possibly have any kind of ulterior agenda SIGN ME UP”.

Of course I am sure they would be wrong to just make assumptions about this but maybe, just maybe those people might feel the need to make some kind of objection (not that I’m assuming that this is what happened, of course – only pointing out that it’s within the bounds of possibility). And then school might say “ah, bugger, someone is raising questions, we can’t be having any trouble, let’s just postpone it for now and try to sort it all out” and THEN of course everyone involved is a BAD PERSON who must be Homophobic.

Or maybe, the school feels that the course is actually a load of rubbish and the school jumped at the chance to postpone it, in the hopes that the folks who give the course would just give up, and of course this would then immediately make the school BAD PEOPLE because everything that an LGBT group does MUST be FABULOUS, dontchaknow.

So for example if my kid went to this school I might* feel inclined to object on the basis that I didn’t feel it was the best use of his time and that I would much prefer he attend “Bullying It Is Not About Sexuality Or Race Or Creed Its About People Being Assholes To Other People Stop Being Assholes, Assholes!”. But then I would probably be labeled as a homophobic bully :)

Peace and Love, people.

*not actually “I” as in “me” but “I” as in “one”

I can add almost nothing to this discussion but merely to state that I believe that Steve above has hit every nail on the head including the big PC one that we are all supposed to champion….especially in regard to the mores of homesexuals, though in this particular case the school might not say ” ah, bugger…..” ?

Just a single comment – it has happened many times that when the world tries to eliminate any form of discrimination, it goes too far – as in we drift into positive discrimination.

I think there are elements of this now applicable to people who are gay.

Therefore it is a result of this positive discrimination that this talk was specifically about bullying gay people.

I agree with the point that bullying is bullying – regardless for the reason.

Yea, I know, that’s more than one comment…

Finally, somebody who is gay during the week said that the least interesting aspect to his personality was his sexuality, and I think that summarises the way it should be
– focus on the positive side to people!

“Why do we need a course specifically against Homophobic Bullying?”

Because, unlike the other forms of bullying mentioned, disapproving of gay people enjoys the support of the Catholic church and their proxies and while their influence is fading there are still plenty of people who think this gives them license to join in. In Ireland suicide is a leading cause of death among young people and concern about sexual orientation is a significant contributory factor in many cases. I work with the 16-24 age group and I can tell you that homophobic bullying is commonplace where overt bullying of other minorities is less so.

Tim you arsehole, the whole point of this site is to invite and encourage comment from all parts of society… get another tattoo !

Well said flybynight…Steve you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it’s plainly obvious why there needs to be a course specifically on homophobia bullying. Thankfully due to education the vast majority of children [teens in particular] know that you cannot use the word ‘niggar’ or ‘paki’ however that is not the case with words like ‘fag’ or ‘queer’ which if you work in the education system you will hear all the time. I do hope my different perspective helps you in understanding this issue a little better. Thanks in advance.

The Equality Authority 2004 publication Diversity at School cited a great deal of research showing the prevalence of homophobia in Irish schools, especially those controlled by the church. That publication is available free on the web:

But, as is usually the case in this country, that publication is ignored – even by the statutory regulatory bodies, the Equality Tribunal and the Labour Court, whose function it is to help redress that homophobia:

Though one of the nine Equality Officers in the Equality Tribunal who is exceptionally enlightened, Stephen Bonnlander, recently nailed a primary school interview board by awarding €54,000 in compensation to a job applicant who was discriminated against on grounds of, among other things, sexual orientation:

@Tommy – are you suggesting that the *only time* someone calls someone else a fag or queer is because that person is in fact homosexual and the word is used to directly belittle them based on their sexuality alone? I really do find that hard to believe, in the same way that I hear kids accusing other kids of being “knackers” even though they know well those other kids aren’t. It’s just another word on the list of Word You Can Use To Make Someone Else Feel Bad.

I mean, we don’t see any specific courses about not calling anyone a Scumbag, or a Pussy, or a Fucking Moron, do we?

Therefore it falls under the umbrella term of “bullying” and my original point stands – kids (and adults!) should be taught that it’s wrong to use ANY words like that in an attempt to bully someone.

@Pat – I don’t think anyone here would disagree that there is discrimination based on sexuality and religious beliefs especially in those horrid institutions that are still caught in the grip of old attitudes. But that’s not really the issue here – the issue is, should bullying in general be seen as somehow distinct from bullying based on sexuality and to me, the answer to this is a firm NO.

As I understand it, abuse needs to be sustained in order to qualify as bullying.

Regarding the word “knacker”, when I was growing up it had nothing at all to do with travellers. It was used to denote people lacking in civilised behaviour.

Focusing on the words people use misses the root of the problem. As has been pointed out above, the word ‘Queer’ when used between gay people, means something different than when it is used by a bully. Again, the use of the word ‘Knacker’ tells the same story. It is not so much what people say, it is what they actually believe that is at issue. We all know that this is why ‘Politically Correct’ language usually sounds so disingenuous.
I am fully convinced that racism and bigotry are alive and well in modern Ireland and all that has been achieved is that we as a society have convinced most people who think that way to keep their uncivilised notions to themselves. The difference with homophobic bullying is that we haven’t even achieved that veneer of PC yet.
The younger generation learn our language and our values. We can teach them not to use ‘bad’ words but the task is much more difficult where ‘bad’ values are concerned and especially so when they are reinforced by Churches and schools.


‘Tommy, gay people often use the word Queer. Should there be a list of expressions that are banned, and who will draw it up?’

Of course not it’s context that matters I’d say you know that already though.

@Steve Your argument doesn’t hold up to be honest. See the problem with homophobic attitudes among young people [teenagers in particular] is that because many gay teens are not ‘out’ those around them who profess hatred of homosexuality are not aware who in their presence they may be hurting or indeed frightening when they make nasty remarks, as to what should happen to ‘dirty fags’ and ‘queers’ or ‘shirt lifters’. A colleague of mine who is gay spoke to me of the abject fear he felt as 13 year old dealing with this kind of thing in class.

As to your question

‘should bullying in general be seen as somehow distinct from bullying based on sexuality and to me, the answer to this is a firm NO.’

I agree no it shouldn’t and just going over the thread here I can’t find anyone other than you who has made that point so I’m not sure who you are addressing when you make it. However I do believe that until such time that casual homophobia garners the same degree of abhorrence from others as casual racism does then there needs to be courses high lighting this issue specifically. Problems and situations need to met where they are at and not where they ‘should be’ or where in an ideal world we d like them to be.

@Tommy – nobody else made the point, and that’s my point. (I pointed out in the original comment that if this were a course specifically about some other type of bullying nobody would raise an eyebrow if it were canceled due to concerns being raised). Anyway I am not trying to claim expert status on this subject at all, just voicing an opinion! Also the below is a bit rambling (I am tired :) so bear with me….

It’s terrible that your colleague would have found himself in abject fear over this kind of thing but I fail to see how this is much different from any other 13 year old living in terror that his peers might discover anything else about him that might set him apart from the crowd; kids are merciless bastards and you know as well as I do, that they are adroit at picking things to mortify other kids based on how ashamed *those other kids* feel about the subject.

I know this myself from experience when my own young lad, at the age of 6, would literally shit his pants from anxiety at school because he was terrified that someone might find out he was not Irish, simply because he saw how terribly badly some of his other classmates were treated for being foreign.

Now granted, in the case of sexuality, it is such an intrinsic aspect of our own selves, such a vital part of how we define our lives, that there is an argument to be made that it requires some kind of special treatment, but I personally believe that this goes as far as teaching that everyone’s sexuality is their own private business, and that’s that. It doesn’t need to be quantified and have a special course about it, because in doing so it may very well draw even more attention to itself i.e nobody can claim a monopoly on suffering from bullying and therefore no-one should be perceived as trying to, even if that’s not the case.

Therefore I would argue that the best way to stop homophobic bullying is a) reassure people that their sexuality is their business, and theirs alone; that their sexuality is something they should be neither ashamed nor proud of, and that they have as much right to be who they are as anyone else in this Universe, and secondly to teach people that any form of bullying against anyone, for any reason, is wrong.

Only by making homosexuality mundane can you ever possibly hope to eliminate bullying based on it; I believe that we have too many pigeon-holes in our society and I would be very disappointed to see something as boring as sexuality continue to be one of those :) i.e only when homophobia garners the same kind of societal *indifference* that, say, arachnaphobia does, will we have a solution.

Personally I do not see this happening until a lot of people die (from old age!) but I hold out hope for my young daughter’s generation – I can’t speak for her peer’s parents, but I’ll certainly do my best to make sure that she’s brought up without prejudice.

As regards your last thought:
“Problems and situations need to met where they are at and not where they ‘should be’ or where in an ideal world we d like them to be.”

Honestly, I think that this is the wrong attitude to have when it comes to society. If all you is spend your time being reactive, then nothing will ever improve. Society has to be proactive and teach some form of ideal so that some day we might actually get closer to those ideals being real.

@Steve My remark “Problems and situations need to met where they are at and not where they ‘should be’ or where in an ideal world we d like them to be.” is not reactive in fact it’s probably the most proactive stance you could possibly take when faced with any dilemma.

Again I repeat my original assertion that until such time that casual homophobia garners the same degree of abhorrence from others as casual racism does then there needs to be courses high lighting this issue specifically as well in conjunction with it being a part of anti bullying education in general.

Finally here is some interesting qualitative research on the matter which is very much worth reading.

All bullying at school is wrong, including sarcastic teachers who sometimes bully slow pupils with sarcasm in front of the other pupils in class. There should be no need for visiting experts to come to a school to discourage student/pupil bullying of just one type. Schools have welcomed experts who preach against bullying in general. I am afraid that children throughout the ages have tended to display a herd mentality among their age peers. Every generation of teachers will have to patiently wage vigilant campaigns and procedures against groups of pupils picking on individual pupils on account of differences in size, age, appearance, emotional demeanour, social background and other factors.

@Ben R

‘There should be no need for visiting experts to come to a school to discourage student/pupil bullying of just one type.’

I agree there shouldn’t be but until such time that this state of affairs exists certain issues need particular attention. LGBT being just one of them.

“LGBT being just one of them.”

Tommy, you do make some very good points here, and that link made for hard reading, that’s for sure.

Anyway. Let’s not fall out over this but it seems to me that you are saying that we should have lots and lots of courses specifically targeted at all the different types of bullying that go on, just because they happen to be in the spotlight at the moment. That is reactive, no matter what way we look at it.

I just can’t see how that works. As soon as you try to make one form of bullying in any way, shape or form different from any other kind, you disempower the other forms. Can’t bully that kid over there because he’s gay and you will get in trouble? Fine, bully that other one because he’s poor, sure they didn’t give any course about not bullying peasants, so it must be OK.

Not to mention that the list of courses would be ridiculously long, nor to mention the marginalization that will surely be felt by someone whose specific type of bullying isn’t dealt with.

Now I am not saying that these courses can’t in some way help, but it feels awfully like putting a band-aid on cancer; someone has got to step back and realise “hey, there is a much wider problem here that if it were addressed, all of this nonsense would just go away without all of the current efforts” and that’s where I’m coming from.

So I’ll still hope that bullying can and will be tackled the only way that can work – by breaking it down to the most common denominator that we all share, simply that we are all bags of meat with equal “rights”, and that no meat bag has the right to abuse any other meat bag for any reason, ever.

Peace and love, people.

It doesn’t matter what the motivation for bullying is. I’m still not clear what the other side of the bullying debate is. That’s why the school cancelled the workshop.

Where is the balance between the anti-bullying side and the pro-bullying side?

Was this decision not simply an example of idiocy?


@Bock ‘Was this decision not simply an example of idiocy?’

In my opinion the cancelling of the workshop was a clear statement by the school regarding it’s fear of the ‘LGBT lobby’ who are taking over our schools and making homo sexuality an acceptable way of life. These are educated people who understand how the media works they must have known how it would have been perceived and went ahead anyway. For anyone to think that a workshop on any form of bullying [be it race/or sexuality] would do more harm than good is indeed worrying.


Parents just don’t want homosexuality anywhere their children and that is all there is to it. Lets just say that they are not fooled into thinking that a “homophobic bullying” workshop is a genuine anti-bullying lesson but rather a course on the perverted “virtues” of the gay lifestyle and a prelude to the introduction of “singular legislation for “protecting” homosexuals.
This is an example of the way the political aspect of LBGT works, worming its way slowly and insidiously under an umbrella of political correctness and supposed concern for minority groups. Let no-one be fooled by the political lobby, LBGT, —- a wolf in sheep’s clothing if ever there was. To those of you who are gay, —– don’t be deceived into imagining that this organization is protecting your interests. The way to protect yourself is the old classical way that homosexuals have been doing for centuries: Keep your mouth shut —- it isn’t really all that difficult.

Inducting children into this kind of thing is absolutely reprehensible and effectively a strategic form of child abuse.
This country needs to waken up to the reality of the enemy within the gate weakening and compromising what little morality is left and LGBT in my opinion, should be an outlawed organization.

Now, I am very sorry if anyone is appalled at such ferocious intolerance but as I said so often before, there must be a line drawn with toleration —- even more so than with intolerance.

iap337 – as you already explained to us, you don’t know what exactly homosexuality is, and therefore I can’t understand why you’re so certain about it now.

You should prepare yourself to talk in precise detail about sexual acts,

Brace yourself because I will be questioning you on very specific sexual details. If you are unable to answer these questions, you acknowledge that are not qualified to comment on this issue.

Is that acceptable to you?


I cannot get into conversation right now this minute. Just a short note for the moment. Perhaps in about 24 hours.

I am only concerned here with the propagation of this vise among the young and the extended political impact on society at large. I am not preoccupied with the explicit physical details of homosexual sexual conduct but I know enough to know what it is all about.


If you don’t mind me asking, do you have children yourself? And if so if one of them were gay would you accept them or reject them? Again I know I ve said it in earlier posts but I’m at a total loss as to why someone would carry such hatred and contempt for a minority group. For you to say the following in your post ‘The way to protect yourself is the old classical way that homosexuals have been doing for centuries: Keep your mouth shut —- it isn’t really all that difficult.’ and not have the cognitive wherewithal to recognise how so many decent loving people have suffered hell on earth as a result of this petrified solution to a human problem is astounding. So again if you had a child who told you they were gay how would you react? Or even if you found out your hetrosexual teenager had a gay friend would you intervene to steer them away from that friend?

never mind wolves in sheeps clothing, based on all the contributions from IAP I am fully convinced that he/she is a trojan horse from the stables of LGBT & by the innflamatory tone of the comments has drawn all of us into a state of overt protectiveness for all the targets of his/her vitriol… definitely got me going.. could’nt saddle my high horse fast enough !

rereading your post has left me with some doubts as to the value of the various threads being followed. postponing the workshop to allow for the other side of the arguement was not necessarily homophobic but may have been an effort to allow parents time to absorb what if any impact it would have on their children, KEY word in this report was POSTPONE & I also hope that a headmaster would not give in to bullying by either religous zealots or LGTBS.

to clarify my last comment , the “other side” was not not homophobic bullying but to my understanding the choice to “not have the workshop” a very different take and I wonder who originally put this slanted view on a remark that might just have been “life is too short for all this shite”. Remember this guy not only sanctioned this workshop in the first place but maybe even suggested it. ?

@Bock -“Was this decision not simply an example of idiocy?” – well my understanding is that it wasn’t outright canceled, it was postponed. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but in my book they are two different things. And unless you have absolute proof that the objections were specifically homophobic in nature, then we can’t just label this as a lunatic decision.

If this were a course called “Why You Should Not Make Fun Of Jamal’s Silly Ideas” by “Radical Prophets of Peace Allah Be Praised” more people might be taking the side of the “objectors” and therefore I think it behooves us to not be jumping to conclusions as it appears everyone is just because of the subject matter.

I will round out my run of poor analogies by comparing this situation to freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to speak freely, *but nobody is under any obligation to listen to them*. I don’t see why this principle cannot be applied to this situation…

Anyway. now that iap337 has shown up, I suppose the possibility of a rational discussion has just disappeared in a poof of smoke :)

@Steve ‘If this were a course called “Why You Should Not Make Fun Of Jamal’s Silly Ideas” by “Radical Prophets of Peace Allah Be Praised” more people might be taking the side of the “objectors” ‘

I assume you are referring to prejudice against the Muslim minority in Ireland… If you believe this to be true then surely it would do no harm to do specific workshops on true Muslim culture to help Irish teenagers and children understand the difference between being a Muslim getting on with their life and being a brain washed extremist hell bent on censorship and an intolerance of difference. Whether they are Christian fundamentalists like Iap or Muslim fundamentalists like ISIS do we not need to educate our children to be open minded and to understand the real motives of these people who wish to spread hatred and program our young people to do the same.

@ Steve.. puff of smoke… you magican you…and @Bock…….hard & very explicit…. I’m off to to practice origami its great especially with a partner . …

“Parents just don’t want homosexuality anywhere their children and that is all there is to it.”

This is not true. My wife and I are parents and our children’s favourite babysitter happens to be gay. We think the world of him and are perfectly happy to leave our children in his care. We would be much more uneasy if a man in a long black dress and a clerical collar offered to mind them or to talk frightening nonsense to them when they were at school. We would be particularly concerned if he wanted to tell them that there is a man/fairy in the sky watching them all the time and if they don’t do as he wants they will go to a place called hell. He might go on to tell more lies about virgins having babies and dead men who came to life again. This is the sort of stuff we think children should be protected from. We might go so far as to suggest that……..

“Inducting children into this kind of thing is absolutely reprehensible and effectively a strategic form of child abuse”.

As I said, Iap will be answering specific questions when he comes back. But at the moment, there’s a bit of an echo in here, don’t you think?

methinks IAP 337 is relocating to another venue that will amply hold all the other IAPs numbering 1 to 336….. fools err & differ whilst great minds think alike … love to be a fly on that wall…. @ Ben R, I would’nt count on hearing the soundtrack from “ROCKY”, maybe the “Riordans”…


A lenghty reply was sent a little more than an hour after the other one on another thread to Tommy and I see that it still has not shown. I will give it more time. If it still dosn’t show I will have to re-write it in maybe a day or two.

You weren’t asked for a weighty reply. You were told to expect questions. Your other comment has been removed because you deliberately put it in the wrong thread. It seems your contempt is not only for homosexuals.

You are now placed back in moderation. The only comment you will make next is either that you agree to answer sexual questions or that you decline to do so.

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