By Liana Jacob
THESE IRISH HUNKS bare all in a special shoot taken for a calendar with hopes to raise awareness of mental health and cancer.
Cheeky photos reveal naked men posing in tasteful shots that represent a club or association they are part of, including one sitting in a row boat.
For the March shoot, an aspiring actor is shown standing on a stage bare-skinned with a clapperboard covering his lower half.
For July, a man is shown standing in the nude on a tennis court behind the net with a tennis ball in his hand while talking to a referee.
The co-ordinator of the shoot, Jim Reaney (57), from Cork, Ireland, was inspired to round up 13 local men with different passions and hobbies for the Local Bulls Calendar 2019.
Jim lost a family member to suicide in 2017, which motivated him to raise funds for two nominated charities; Pieta House, which provides a specialised treatment for people who have suicidal ideation or who self-harm and Mercy Hospital Cancer Appeal.
Three professional photographers; Rory O’Toole, Stephen O’Shea and Kevin Day, offered their services voluntarily as part of the projects.
“Some local ladies had done one a few years previously called Local Birds, so in the interest of gender balance and equality, we said we would create a male version for a bit of fun,” Jim said.
“I lost a young family member to suicide earlier this year and one of the lads in the calendar has been battling with cancer.
“So, we wanted to raise awareness of mental health and cancer in our community in addition to raising funds for two nominated charities Pieta House and Mercy Hospital Cancer Appeal.
“Each Bull is representative of a club or association in the community and we selected the shots to align with their passions or hobbies and also to include local scenery.
“We left it more or less to the imagination of the bulls and the photographers but we tried to keep the shots local and tasteful.”
In 2017, 5,821 suicides were recorded in the UK; out of these, 75 percent were male, while 25 percent were female.
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men between the ages of 20 and 49 in England and Wales.
“Everyone we asked to help out was willing to – the logistics of getting everyone together for a group shot was probably the hardest part,” Jim said.
“Getting sponsorship to cover printing etc was also a challenge but we got great support from local businesses and individuals.
“On launch night each bull was escorted on the catwalk by a local lady who is either battling cancer or has beaten it to individually selected music.
“We ran a fun competition for the audience of five-hundred people whereby they could buy votes for the hottest bull from the calendar – the June bull was the winner.
“We want to create awareness in the community of the challenges faced by people with mental health and cancer Illnesses.
“We also want to make others aware that people undergoing these personal journeys need the support of family, friends and the wider community.
“We used the opportunity to make people aware of the support services that exist for mental health issues and what to do if you are feeling depressed or lonely.”
For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/LocalBullsCalendar2019/