Horrific Homophobic attacks condemned by South Dublin Mayor and the County’s LGBT+ Network. Dublin’s LGBT+ community is shocked and deeply upset by the horrific events in Sligo recently as well as by the brutal homophobic attack on a gay man in Dublin. These violent acts have no place in a modern Ireland. The Network has made a statement saying, “ When a man is attacked and severely injured as he leaves a club, simply on the basis that he is gay, it is an attack upon the equality we hold dearly and the safety we should all be able to enjoy. That it happened on a city centre street which hosts a rainbow crossing – to mark the diversity of our capital city – it says more again. It says people feel they can do such acts of barbarity and get away with it”.
The Network said that, “We stand in support of those affected by the killings and attacks of this week. We offer their families our condolences. We vow to keep up our efforts to highlight the need for diversity and acceptance. Popular support for diversity in Ireland is undoubted, but a small minority support for words and acts of aggression has led people to feel they have permission to act on their phobias and hate. It is time for leadership in calling out such hate – well before it gets to the point of violence.”
Chairperson of the Network, Gerry Curran said, “We have become used to living open and free lives as gay people in Ireland: We refuse to do otherwise, and will face down the purveyors of hate who stoke up lies and fear, from the shadows of social media and group think. We will maintain our right to add greatly to the society we live in. There will be no retreating to the past. No fear or attempts at shaming will make us leave the public sphere we enjoy so much, and contribute so much to as equal citizens.
The network advised all members and gay people everywhere to be careful. The statement said,” the need for security extends to our online presence, and the use of dating sites needs to be accompanied by common sense. Don’t meet people with no face-pics on their profile, or who don’t send them in messages. It’s even better that they offer you a link to other social media they are on – so as you can see they are who they say. Take screen grabs of the details of who you are meeting – Share with a mate – or e-mail them to yourself. Meet in a public venue. We join with all decent and reasonable people in condemning violence, especially violence based on unfounded hatred. We join with the Mayor of the County in supporting our neighbours in Dublin South who might be afraid as a result of the past week. Know you are not alone”.
The Mayor of South Dublin County, Cllr Peter Kavanagh said ‘My heart is saddened by the tragic and terrible deaths of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, who were brutally murdered in Sligo. Just as the country rallied together in a shared sense of anger and frustration at the murder of Ashling Murphy, so must we now come together and express our support and solidarity to the LGBTQIA+ community, and condemn all acts of homophobic and transphobic violence. Everyone deserves the chance to live their lives and be themselves, and we have a moral obligation to stand up for anyone suffering from bigotry and discrimination, before we see another horrific hate crime in Ireland.’
South Dublin LGBT+Network member Cllr Alan Edge said, ‘The tragedy in Sligo reinforces the urgent need for the progression of hate crimes legislation through the Oireachtas. We need to stand together with other minority groups and send a clear message that hate in any form directed at people because of who they are or what they believe will not be tolerated.’
“To anyone locally feeling they need some emotional support, the National LGBT+ helpline is open 7 days a week on 1800 929 539. I would urge anyone who has witnessed or been the victim of a hate crime on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity or expression to report it to gardaí immediately. Details of the Garda gate crime portal as well as the list of diversity officers countrywide are available at lgbt.ie“