CW: This article contains descriptions and images of violence and details of a homophobic attack.
Michael Quinn (30) from Louth, who was found guilty of bludgeoning LGBTQ+ rights activist, Izzy Kamikaze has today been handed down a 3-year sentence.
The man who pleaded guilty to charges in June of this year will serve 2 years in prison with the third year suspended.
Michael Quinn has been sentenced to 3 years, with the final year suspended. Thank you all for your support. https://t.co/BlfAnNeKMt
— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) October 19, 2021
The assault occurred on September 12, 2020, as an anti-mask group protested outside of Leinster House, with Quinn striking Kamikaze over the head with a wooden plank wrapped in an Irish flag.
As a result of the attack, Kamikaze sustained a severe and bloody head wound, which she received treatment for in Tallaght Hospital.
In her victim impact statement, Izzy Kamikaze described her attack, “I had no idea what had happened or who had struck me. I had arrived two or three minutes before with my friends.
“I remember folding my arms across my chest and standing with my feet further apart, bracing myself for impact. I knew we were going to be further assaulted but hoped it would just be pushing and shoving… The first impact of Michael Quinn’s assault on me was of course on my head. The most immediate impact was that I fell to the ground.”
She went on to describe hearing the protesters chanting “paedo scum off our streets”, while she lay on the ground. As she returned to her feet the slurs continued with “Perverts! Weirdoes! Dyke!” and “Get your foreign ways out of my country!”
Following the incident, an open letter calling on the LGBTQ+ community to show solidarity with Kamikaze and to take a stand against “bullies, thugs and their enablers,” was shared, and footage of the wounded activist went viral across social media.
The letter highlighted the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland and recognised the role that Kamikaze had played in achieving them.”Izzy Kamikaze has been at the vanguard of the struggle for these rights. She participated in, organised and led pride marches in 1980s Dublin when to march down the streets as an openly gay person took both moral and physical courage. She has been a pioneer for the rights of marginalised people in this country.”
In her statement, Kamikaze recognised her own activism and the strength that she has gained from it. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am grateful that Michael Quinn’s cudgel came down on my head and not on the head of some less experienced person on whom the impact might have been more severe.”
As a result of the attack, Kamikaze became the target of online trolling, claiming that she had staged the assault and had not in fact been injured. Among a slew of insults and false accusations, she recalls, “I posted some images of the wound. This started waves of more sexualised online harassment regarding ‘Izzy’s bleeding gash’ and pictures of my bleeding head paired with comments about heavy periods.”
Quinn, a member of the National Party, was initially charged with assault causing harm, but the Director of Public Prosecutions furthered the indictment for using a weapon under Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, 1990.
Following the entry of a guilty plea, Quinn was found guilty on both counts with sentencing deferred to October.
Heading to Dublin now. The most recent info I have says the case is listed for 11am, in Court 22, CCJ, before Judge Martin Nolan. I hope to meet some of you outside the court afterwards. If I have any updates, I'll post them here. (*Reposted due to typo.)
— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) October 19, 2021
Kamikaze asserts that she has no stake in the verdict handed down to Quinn and believes that the value of the case is in highlighting the abusive nature of far-right demonstrators.
“A lot of people came to their senses about how dangerous it is to ignore far-right protest the day Michael Quinn hit me and I’m grateful for that”. She continues “A lot of people thought a little more deeply than they had before about the evil in the heart of people who would beat someone off the street for their sexuality or gender orientation or their ethnicity and how unwise it is to ignore the spread of that evil. For that I am grateful.”
She concludes, “By good luck alone, Michael Quinn hurt himself and his movement far more than he hurt me and I thank him for that.”
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