After becoming the target of an alleged homophobic attack said to have taken place in Belfast last Friday, October 14, Councillor Micky Murray was inundated with messages of support on social media over the weekend.
Micky Murray was selected to become an Alliance Party Councillor for the Balmoral DEA in South Belfast earlier in May. Well-known in the community for his hard work on LGBTQ+ issues and in the homeless sector, he received many messages of support after he was reportedly attacked last Friday.
A friend of the Belfast Councillor described the attack as homophobic in a social media post, explaining that Murray was at the hospital to receive treatment after the incident. Murray himself posted a tweet on Saturday, thanking people for all the support they had given him.
“Thanks for all the messages. I’m doing okay, and feeling very loved,” he wrote, adding that he received “a couple of stitches” following the attack. He concluded, “Huge thanks to all the staff at the Mater Hospital who took really good care of me and supplied me with tea.”
Thanks for all the messages!
I’m doing okay, and feeling very loved.
A couple of stitches and plenty of laughs provided by @Donnan_S during our little A&E visit.
Huge thanks to all the staff at the Mater Hospital who took really good care of me and supplied me with tea.
— Cllr Micky Murray (@micky_murray) October 15, 2022
One of the many messages of support came from South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw, who shared, “I’m absolutely disgusted to hear of this heinous attack on my good friend and colleague Micky”.
“Micky is someone who has always championed and campaigned for rights and equality for the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland, so to have been assaulted simply because of who he is is unacceptable.” She added, “The wider Alliance Party will be supporting Micky in the coming weeks and months and will continue to work alongside him in assuring no one else is subjected to this kind of hate.”
Minister of Justice Naomi Long also took to Twitter to send “lots of love” to her colleague, saying that it was “Utterly sickening that these kinds of attacks are still happening.”
While it is appalling that homophobic and transphobic attacks are still happening in 2022, it is a reality that the LGBTQ+ community still has to face consistently. Indeed, a study presented earlier in September showed an increase in the number of incidents of hate crime in Ireland and called for a specific action plan from the government to tackle the issue.
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