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  • 06 Jul 2009

    Wonderful Letter From The Mother of A Gay Son To Minister Ahern

    A poster on gay forum site Queerid wrote a letter about the Civil Partnership Bill to the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern. He posted it on his Facebook, where his mother read it and was inspired to write her own letter to the minister. I'm usually a cynical old crone, but it's a wonderful, touching, lovely letter that only a mother could write.


    Dear Mr Ahern,


    My name is Helen Doody, you have already received and failed to reply to a letter that my own son Declan sent to you a week or so ago. So like any good and decent parent I am now trying to get you to listen to and protect my child – it is the very least that any mother would do for her own children.


    I read Declan’s email and everything he said to you in the e-mail was true. He had a very tough time growing up in Abbeyfeale, I can still picture him crying in the mornings before he went to school because he was afraid of the people who were going to be waiting for him – bullies who would beat the living daylight out of him, people who crushed the very spirit within him. I tried numerous times to help him, I spoke to teachers, to the parents but the problem got a quick-fix but a weeks later it just continued on.

    Declan was always a very shy and quiet boy but as the bullying continued he became more and more invisible. His Dad and I spent nights talking about him, wondering would he go to school in the morning, would he come home that evening with a ripped jumper or would his school copies be destroyed, we tried so hard to get him the help he needed but as the bullying continued, he started to shut his family out.


    All of this began to change however the day Declan came out to me. I am not going to pretend that I handled it like a saint, it is a shock to the system, you don’t think about your child being gay, you just assume they are straight and when Declan told me I didn’t know what to do. I thought I had done something wrong, I thought it was my fault, I really thought that this was it for my son, when people started to find out that he was gay his entire world would turn into a living hell but it didn’t.

    Over the coming weeks he began to change, I finally started to see him smile again and there was something different about his heart too. I saw my son reach a very dark and lonely place at the age of 16 but even at his lowest my son, had the courage and strength to come out and say he was gay.

    He went to college with a new look on life, he finally seemed to be enjoying himself and it was only then I realised that there was nothing wrong with Declan. If my son was happy, if he was no longer worried about what other people thought about him then I knew that there was nothing wrong with being gay.

    For many years he had kept a secret from me and his family because he thought we would reject him, like so many people had done to him before and now at the age of 23 he has graduated with a degree, a higher diploma and a masters. He has become the fine young man that his father and I are so very proud to be able to call our son.


    When I heard on the news that gay people would now finally be able to register the relationships like any married couple I finally thought things had changed and I suppose many other people around the country like me thought the same. However I have now realised that what you plan on doing is nothing short of telling the gay community that they are still not equal. You will not tell my sons that they are not equal to their brothers, friends and the rest of society. Your Civil Partnership Bill is not good enough for my family, and hundreds, thousands of other families in this country. I might not be the smartest person in this country but even I can tell you that this bill is all but worthless and will only further the opinion that gay people are not the same as everyone else.


    I have been there for all my sons when they have had their hearts broken by girlfriends and boyfriends. I helped them pick out gifts on Valentines day and shopped around for a Tux for the Debs. I have met boyfriends and girlfriends, I have liked some and been frosty to others. I have thought about each and every single of them getting married to someone that they love and who will love them back as much as I do.


    I have six sons Mr Ahern, six very beautiful boys who became six very beautiful and upstanding young men!


    Two of my boys are gay. Four are straight. Two are firemen. Two love playing video games. One loves to cook. Three of them love cars. Five of them have had their tonsils out.


    All of them are my sons.


    You have the power to change this country so do the right thing and change this country for the better, wake up and realise that there is still time to clean up this mess and give gay couples the same rights as straight couples.


    I am asking on behalf of my gay children, their gay friends, my gay friends, my family, I am asking you as a member of this country, as a taxpayer but most of all I am asking you as a mother, to help my children and revise this Bill so everyone in this country can be equal.


    Yours truly,


    Helen Doody




    gay rights | marriage equality


    • Posted By Brendan O'Loughlin 15 Aug 2009 01:03

      What a legend.

    • Posted By jean 11 Aug 2009 16:15

      What a lovely Mammy :)

    • Posted By Chris Lewis 08 Jul 2009 06:27

      what a great letter , nice one Helen you say it from the heart x

    • Posted By Ruth Murphy 07 Jul 2009 19:19

      Perhaps this ladies letter will act as the catalyst and inspire queers, lesbians, gays alike to express their anger. You should be angry we are not second class citizens yet this govt's bill is little short of treating us like such. Too long I have witnessed growing up in a country that is still in the dark ages as far as gay people are concerned. Its time to shine a light on ourselves and to accept nothing less. Its time to protest and find the courage to speak up, shout for your right to be you.

    • Posted By elfinamsterdam 07 Jul 2009 15:44

      Wow! Fantastic Mother. I'd like to thank Mrs Doody, for being a wonderful and loving mother, those boys of hers are lucky men!! :)

    • Posted By Mark 07 Jul 2009 13:38

      What a toucing letter - it deserves to be more widely read... Helen, you are a lady!

    • Posted By Martin 07 Jul 2009 12:26

      I'm in a net cafe actually fighting back tears at the moment. It gives me hope that it is not just the gay community who are fighting for our equality but the people around us also. Helen is the pinnacle of all things wonderful in our society.

    • Posted By CP 07 Jul 2009 11:46

      Wow. Beautiful.

    • Posted By Thorsten Fillmann 07 Jul 2009 10:35

      I guess my Ma would do the same for me. I’m really touched from this letter.

    • Posted By Helen 07 Jul 2009 02:46

      "Two of my boys are gay. Four are straight. Two are firemen. Two love playing video games. One loves to cook. Three of them love cars. Five of them have had their tonsils out. All of them are my sons." Absolutely beautiful. Im so touched...The country mammys are getting there slowly but surely....I can see my own mammy coming around to the gay rights movement too.. Softly does it...

    • Posted By Helen 07 Jul 2009 02:38

      "Two of my boys are gay. Four are straight. Two are firemen. Two love playing video games. One loves to cook. Three of them love cars. Five of them have had their tonsils out. All of them are my sons." Absolutely beautiful. Im so touched...The country mammys are getting there slowly but surely....I can see my own mammy coming around to the gay rights movement too.. Softly does it...

    • Posted By Stephen K 07 Jul 2009 00:51

      The voices of Irish mothers and fathers (and by that I mean mams and dads, mammies and daddies, ma's and da's) is of huge importance to the cause. Congratulations, Mrs. Doody on writing a very moving letter. My only worry is that this one won't receive a reply either.

    • Posted By 07 Jul 2009 00:46

      I wish my Ma said that.

    • Posted By Aisling 07 Jul 2009 00:38

      well you summed that up to perfection...well done Mrs. Doody and family.

    • Posted By Aisling 07 Jul 2009 00:37

      well you summed that up to perfection...well done Mrs. Doody and family.

    • Posted By Declan 06 Jul 2009 22:00

      That is the most passionate loving letter I have ever read. My mother died two years ago and I never get to tell her i was gay. But I think she would have felt the same. Thank you for writing that letter on behalf of my mam and me.

    • Posted By Vlad 06 Jul 2009 21:06

      It's a great and truly moving letter indeed. I wish politicians could read....

    • Posted By Matt 06 Jul 2009 20:37

      Now that is a mammy!!!!! Lucky to have one just like her!

    • Posted By Jem 06 Jul 2009 20:28

      Really moving, what any mother should and would do for their son!

    • Posted By Jakub 06 Jul 2009 19:38

      Dear Mrs Helen Doody I am so proud of you and i wish you were my mother as well Im sure all of your children love you very much

    • Posted By Todd 06 Jul 2009 18:36

      That's one of the loveliest things I've ever read. Tears rolling down my cheeks : )

    • Posted By Colm Muprhy 06 Jul 2009 18:35

      Fantastic! Big hugs to Mrs Doody!

    • Posted By Danny carey 06 Jul 2009 18:26

      what a beautifully written letter from a mother who loves all her children EQUALY, love for her children unconditional, i take my hat off to you Mrs Doody for taking the time out and standing up and voicing your opinion for your sons, if i could hug you now i would. Danny

    • Posted By Paul Franey 06 Jul 2009 18:24

      A lovely letter, from someone who is obviously a lovely mother. Well done. if only there were more like you.

    • Posted By sharin mc court 06 Jul 2009 18:09

      wat alovely n very moving letter...if only this world had more people like mrs doody then this world wud be a better place...x

    • Posted By Anna 06 Jul 2009 17:54

      Thank you

    • Posted By Gerard 06 Jul 2009 17:48

      Well done mrs doody

    • Posted By Anna 06 Jul 2009 17:41

      Thank you

    • Posted By Rob Partridge 06 Jul 2009 17:36

      Well done to Mrs. Doody.

    • Posted By Michael Bourke 06 Jul 2009 17:18

      Helen, you are an inspiration you have six very lucky sons, it really is one of the most beautiful letters i have ever read. Thank you.

    • Posted By trevor 06 Jul 2009 16:56

      helen you are a fab mum i hope your words do not fall on silent ears! as a gay man in a relationship for 5 years i hope things can and WILL change for the best . your an insperation HELEN xx

    • Posted By gerry o 06 Jul 2009 15:40

      i think all mlthers should write their own letter like helen, it was very touchin

    • Posted By Sian Maloney 06 Jul 2009 15:35

      A wonderful letter. As a Mum myself I applaud you. Sian x

    • Posted By Steve 06 Jul 2009 15:29

      I want Helen to be my mum... I've already been adopted by 2 lesbians... sure i can have another adoptive mum :D

    • Posted By Vic 06 Jul 2009 15:21

      Great letter - great mum

    • Posted By Gina 06 Jul 2009 15:09

      A beautiful letter, I hope this mothers wishes are carried out.

    • Posted By Guy 06 Jul 2009 15:06

      Such magnificent from a wonderful woman. I think a pint on the house is in order! :)

    • Posted By Mark 06 Jul 2009 15:06

      Hurrah! This is wonderful

    • Posted By Hometime 06 Jul 2009 14:58

      Dear Helen Doody. I am up for adoption - please be my new mom. You rock.

    • Posted By gringo 06 Jul 2009 14:53

      great now I'm crying in work

    • Posted By Martin McCann 06 Jul 2009 14:46

      Brilliant. Brought a tear to my eye.

    • Posted By Patrick 06 Jul 2009 14:38

      Declan and his brothers are very lucky to have such a loving, caring mother like Helen. It just a pity that someone like Helen is not the leadrer of this country, hopefully it will have some effect on our not so eateemed leader.

    • Posted By Peter 06 Jul 2009 14:31

      Oh thats done it, now I'm teary! Lovely letter.

    • Posted By Karl 06 Jul 2009 14:23

      Lovely. I teared up.

    • Posted By Colm 06 Jul 2009 14:19

      This is just lovely. I actually had a little sigh to myself

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