CW: This article contains descriptions of violence and details of a homophobic attack.
Marc Power was assaulted near Malahide Road, Coolock at approximately 10.30 pm.
Marc had arranged to meet someone he was messaging on Grindr, but when he arrived at the Odeon on Malahide Road, he alleges that he was attacked by a gang of eight teenagers.
He told Dublin Live that they swarmed his car and pulled the door open before attacking him with a hammer.
He said: “I pulled in and to the right, there were a bunch of bushes next to a path.
“Suddenly, a gang of teenage boys swarmed on my car and opened the door.
“They started punching me and were trying to hit me on the head with hammers.
“I swung my feet out and kept kicking them away but I couldn’t as there was too many of them, and they were fast.
“They cut my face with something, and there was blood pouring out.
“They were laughing; they thought it was funny, they were calling me a f****t. It was the thing that was really terrifying; this was pure entertainment for them.
“I thought the only way I could get out was to get attention, so I kept my hands on the horn.
“They kept hitting my hands, but it got enough attention that people started coming over, and they ran away into the bush.
“They were still laughing as they were going away.
“This was premeditated, they set up a fake profile, and they set out to meet someone to cause as much damage to that person or even kill them.
“I thought they were trying to kill me.”
Marc said he is going public with this story as he is worried others may have suffered the same fate and are too scared to speak out.
He said: “I want people to be aware of these scumbags. They’re out they’re planning these things. There’s lots of women and men out there who this has happened to, and they may be scared.
“I’m scared too. I’m not going to lie. But by me not saying something gives them permission to do it again.
“I don’t have a lot of faith in the police if I’m being really honest, there’s a lot of good ones don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if I’ll get justice.
“My advice to anyone who’s meeting people online is get a number, talk to them on the phone, get them to send pictures or their social media that’s verifiable.
“I learnt a big lesson, but luckily I can take care of myself.”
Gardaí have said that they are investigating the suspected homophobic attack.
In a statement, a Garda spokesperson said a man “received non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Beaumont Hospital for treatment.”
The spokesperson said that Gardaí are investigating the assault, but no arrests have yet been made.
MSM Programme Manager for HIV Ireland Adam Shanley has shared some advice on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of abuse via hookup apps:
“The vast majority of the time, using hook-up apps like Grindr is a fun and pleasurable experience. However, on occasion, things can go wrong. Anyone can potentially become a victim, no matter how experienced, savvy or safe an app user you are. Here are some tips that can help keep you safe from abuse committed via apps.
- Getting a face pic is important but a photo can’t always be trusted. Do a bit of googling before meeting someone – what do you know about the person, have you friends in common on social media?;
- Let a friend know you’re going to hook-up / date. Plan a time that you’ll check in with them to let them know its going well or a safe word to text if you need help;
- Meet somewhere public with people around and take a few minutes to chat – if you get the gut feeling that something isn’t right, no matter when that might be, make your excuses and leave;
- Keep your phone and GPS on and share your live location with a friend – this makes it possible for friends (or police) to know where you are if you need help;
- If something happens – report it! If you’ve been the victim of abuse or crime by someone you met via an app report it to the police and to the app too.
If you are the victim of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime, The Call it Out website provides specific advice on reporting hate crime after the fact.
If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can reach out to the following:
T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie
TENI Helpline (Transgender Support)
T: 085 147 7166 | W: www.teni.ie
T: 01-872 1055 | W: www.gayswitchbaord.ie
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
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