In Ireland, the slew of unsettling news for LGBTQ people continues to mount. Most recently, a gay man was assaulted in the capital city of Dublin.
Twenty-three-year-old Evan Somers, an openly gay rugby player, was attacked by a “marauding gang” in the parking lot of a supermarket during the pre-dawn hours of April 10 after a night of partying at The George, a local pub in Dublin.
Somers said that, at first, just one man confronted him, “getting in [his] face,” mocking him, and insulting him with homophobic slurs before punching him. But the original attacker was soon joined by a separate “gang” – all beating Somers simply because he was gay.
“[I was] left me with a fractured eye socket, 2 fractures in my ankle, a dislocation in my ankle & some other minor injuries,” Somers wrote in a Twitter post about the injuries he sustained from the assault. “We’ve come a long way but still have such a long way to go in terms of equality.”
Somers wasn’t the group’s first victim that night. Earlier in the morning, the group ran up and brutally accosted another young man in his early 30s in a similar manner around 40 minutes earlier. According to the Sunday Independent, a local newspaper in Dublin, a “well-placed source” stated that the gang had no personal link to Somers or the other man they attacked earlier.
“They simply were still around town, looking for more trouble. They saw Mr. Somers being badly beaten and simply ran over and joined in this horrific assault,” the source told the newspaper.
Unfortunately, this string of homophobic assualts is not an insolated phenomenom within Ireland. Over the next couple of days after Somers was attacked, two gay men, Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt, were found murdered in their own homes – their bodies having been brutally mutilated – in the town of Silgo.
While a man in his twenties has been arrested as a suspect in the crimes, Ireland police believe the man could be responsible for previous violent attacks in the area and was planning on doing more.
“These devastating crimes bring to the fore the need for comprehensive Hate Crime legislation,” CEO of LGBT Ireland Paula Fagan said in a comment to Pink News.
“I – along with other sectoral representatives – will be speaking with lawmakers over the coming days to stress the need for them to redouble their efforts and ensure the forthcoming legislation is effective, comprehensive and enacted with urgency. The LGBTI+ community has the right to feel and be safe on our streets, and online.”
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