On Friday February 3, a young gay couple from Dublin on the way home from a trip were the victims of a hate crime after being assaulted by a gang at the Newbridge Railway Station, Co Kildare. While waiting for the train at 6.40pm they were brutally attacked by the group. One of the men, Anthony, had to be rushed to Tallaght after receiving four stab wounds during the brutal assault. His partner, Gearóid Laighléis, described how he was kicked in the face and beaten to the ground during the assault.
A teenage boy has been arrested in connection with the homophobic attack that occurred at the railway station and another man in his late teens was questioned. However, no charges have been pressed as of yet.
A friend of the couple, Peter James Nugent, has started a petition to ‘Stop LGBT+ Hate Crime in Ireland’, including a statement by the couple of what happened that evening.
Anthony explains that he hasn’t spoken to any media outlets, “I haven’t really talked much on any radio or social media because I’m still trying to get over the shock of it all myself.” He also states, “It’s scary to think an attack like this has happened for no other reason than our sexuality. It’s pure hate.”
Ireland, unlike most countries in the European Union, doesn’t have effective hate crime legislation apart from the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. However the act only deals with hate speech that incites hatred so therefore it’s rather limited.
Anthony stresses that he could have lost his life and that he has “never experienced hate like that before” and he fears it could happen again. “What if it happens again, not just to me, but anyone else. It’s a scary world. Hate crime is so serious, it happens every day.” The couple say that something urgently needs to be done about hate crime to prevent anyone being injured or killed.
Click here to access the petition.
If you have been the victim of a hate crime or hate speech, report it to the authorities. A helpline and web chat is also available from LGBT Ireland on their site and at 1890 929 539.
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