24 year old Student Doctor Robert Obara has been crowned Mr Gay Ireland in front of a capacity audience in the Arlington Hotel, Dublin.
Robert, of Irish ancestry, is a fourth year medical student in Trinity College and shaded strong competition from 15 other young men from all over the country in an emotional and hugely impactful final.
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’.
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 new 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.
“I always love being invited back to the Irish Mr Gay competition,” Tore Aasheim, president of Mr Gay Europe says.
“The event is a good example on how a national Mr Gay competition should be. The delegates are becoming best friends, building an important social network, experiencing personal growth at the same time as they work wholeheartedly for a good cause bigger then themselves and learn about other people’s challenges.
I also appreciate that Mr Gay Ireland welcomed a trans man into their competition and that he even made it to the final. Ireland is after Norway the second country to allow this and it is truly in the spirit of Mr Gay Europe.
We Europeans like to do things our own way in our different countries, but Ireland has truly found an excellent formula for their event, and I hope I will able to come back next year,” Mr Aasheim says.
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 Mr Gay Europe 2013 in Prague and at Mr Gay World 2013 as part of Outgames 2013 in Antwerp.