Róisín Meets: ‘Let us live our lives for as long as we have left’

Gay man with cancer and his partner call for Yes vote in marriage referendum campaign

A gay man who has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his partner of 21 years have called for a Yes vote in the marriage referendum campaign.

"Brian is going through a serious illness and I'm very scared. I would like to be bound to this man in law, and I don't think that's a big deal, and that shouldn't matter to anyone else except us," said David McCaffrey, a Phibsborough-based gym owner, in an interview on this week's Roisin Meets podcast.

“I would like everyone to get out of our lives and let us live our lives for as long as we have left.”

His partner, Maynooth lecturer Brian Melaugh, added: "If I didn't have David, I probably could not stay in my home. David has become my carer basically.


“Cancer brings you face-to-face with your own vulnerability, and it brings me face to face with the fact that marriage is very important to me.”

Mr Melaugh, from Co Tyrone, has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a condition he says is “manageable but not curable”.

Mr McCaffrey described how different life was for gay people when he and Mr Melaugh met in 1994.

“I first met Brian in the Jurassic period in the George [pub]. Things were different, you didn’t walk in proudly, you snuck in a back door,” he said.

“There was never support for gay relationships in those days. And even now there’s not the same support.

“No one stand up and applauds, no one gives you a day out. No one seems to care that we have built a life together.”

To hear their story, listen to this week’s Roisin Meets podcast.

Declan Conlon

Declan Conlon

Declan Conlon is head of audio at The Irish Times