In The Name Of Our Fathers with Brendan and Frank Courtney
Brendan and Frank Courtney
Fashion designer and TV personality
When his father Frank was paralysed on the left side of his body following a stroke 18 months ago, Fashion designer and TV personality Brendan Courtney spoke openly on his RTÉ documentary We Need To Talk About Dad.
Here, he chats about his memories growing up.
What do you recall about your father growing up?
Two things stand out for me: He used to take me and my siblings out of school to bring us to the cinema, giving us a half day. We would see him at the door and know that he was going to lie to the teacher about where we were going. When we were bold, my mother would say, “Wait until your father gets home” to slap us. He would put his own hand over your bum, slapping his own hand, and he would tell us to pretend to cry.
How did your relationship change as your got older?
Like all teenage boys, particularly gay ones, we didn’t get on at all. As I got older I began to really respect him and understand how tricky life can be, especially for a man with four kids, and we grew into great pals.
How did he react when you first came out?
He walked into my bedroom and my mam said, “Brendan has something to tell you”. Through my tears I told him I was gay and he said, “About what”! That was his way of saying that it didn’t matter.
Do you ever fight or argue over anything?
We would argue over black and white, we never don’t argue. We have calmed down a lot in recent years though.
What has been the greatest lesson you have learned from him?
To know your value!
Do you share any similar traits?
Probably more than I care to admit to, yeah. We are both very passionate and hot headed. As my mother says, I have a very bright spark but it doesn’t burn for very long.
What makes your dad unique?
His humour, kindness and ability to let us all know that we were unconditionally loved.