I'm openly gay but I just didn't have the courage to come out before now Sigourney ready to do a fifth Alien; Carey admits Varadkar inspired him to go public.
FORMER Fianna Fail minister Pat Carey has revealed he is gay - and said he was inspired to come out by Leo Varadkar.
The 67-year old former Gaeltacht minister said he "didn't have the courage" to speak about his sexuality before.
But ex-Dublin TD Mr Carey added he chose to speak publicly about the issue as he is worried "soft support" for gay marriage will fade before May's referendum.
He said: "In terms of coming out, a lot of people who are close-ish to me and who work with me would know it from early 2011 that I'm gay.
"But I didn't have the courage or the confidence to talk about it to a wider audience. I'm sorry about that."
Mr Carey added after hearing Health Minister Leo Varadkar come out during a radio interview, he realised his story could help others in a similar position.
He told RTE's Sean O'Rourke: "I said that if I got the opportunity - I said it to myself, I didn't say it to anybody else - that maybe my perspective might be helpful to other people of my age.
"Lots of men, and indeed women, of my generation had the same difficulty I had in terms of trying to come to terms with how you articulate your gender issues."
He added he felt Fianna Fail had not done enough to support the campaign for gay marriage.
REFERENDUM Mr Carey said: "I think getting people to come out and vote on the day of the referendum will be the biggest challenge. There has to be a campaign in place and political parties are best equipped to organise campaigns.
"If I am to be critical, it's that they didn't publish the Bill before now."
He spoke of revealing his sexuality to party leader Michael Martin, who "didn't bat an eyelid".
He revealed he had always been accepted by his family and said the forthcoming referendum would be won by "the mothers of Ireland".
He added: "I think mothers have a way of knowing. Certainly, mothers of my generation didn't say it to anybody. But I think in their hearts they know that there is some kind of a difference there."
Mr Carey also revealed he has been in a happy relationship for a number of years.
He said: "It's nice to come home and there be somebody there to say hello and talk about football matches and TV programmes and movies and everything else."
Political colleagues tweeted their support for him after yesterday's interview.
Senator Jillian Van Turnhout wrote: "Pat Carey HERO of the day award. #SlamDunk Always such a considerate and decent man. He has proven it again. Thank you Pat."
Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer said: "Congrats to Pat Carey on his courage today. In coming out he has shown leadership. He should have no regrets. Decent man."
email@example.com SIGOURNEY Weaver has hinted she is willing to revive her iconic character Ripley for a fifth Alien film.
Earlier this year Elysium director Neill Blomkamp shared a series of concept art images for a new Alien feature on his Instagram account.
He said the drawings were "completely unsanctioned" and were just for fun.
But he revealed he held conversations about a sequel with Weaver on the set of his latest film Chappie, in which she has a supporting role.
The actress, 65, said: "We left it at such a creepy place, stranded above Earth.
"I was quite happy to move on to other things and I didn't want to go to Earth.
"If something happens from this, it would be very organic and very original, and because of that, it would make me want to do it."
I revealed my sexuality to party leader Micheal Martin and he didn't bat an eyelid PAT CAREY on rte yesterday
LEADING THE WAY Health Minister Leo Varadkar
eyes on may poll Former minister Pat Carey
CALM Micheal Martin
HINTING Sigourney Weaver