CW: Graphic content and images depicting homophobia and physical violence.
In the early hours of Sunday, August 14, a 26-year-old man reportedly suffered a brutal homophobic attack while on a Dublin Bus. According to the victim Mark Sheehan, he and his friends were travelling home after a night out in The George when they were antagonised and targetted by a gang of young men.
Sheehan recapped the incident in question over Twitter, describing how he was allegedly assaulted both physically and verbally.
“Last night, just before 4am, I was attacked on the 15 bus in Tempelogue. A group of young men sat behind me and proceeded to mock and jeer at my friends and I for the duration of the journey out of town,” he wrote.
“I used my earphones to drown them out, and when taking them off to place back in the case I heard even more insults. ‘Queer’ ‘emo freak’ ‘f****t’ to name a few. I turned around and said to act their age.”
This is when things got physical, Mark remembered, as one of the men proceeded to kick the victim’s earphones out of his hand. As Mark searched for them on the bus floor, he asked the man why he would do that, and this caused another member of the group to start threatening him.
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I was antagonized and attacked on a bus. This took place in Dublin where I live. Please see below for further details of the attack. I am extremely shook up by this, I was doing everything to block them out before they got physical. pic.twitter.com/RrkdMPOF7W
— Tai💜 (@TaiHusky_) August 15, 2022
“At this point I was leaving the upper floor and the person who had kicked me ran up and headbutted me.I looked down and saw blood covering my shoes,” he tweeted.
“I went down to the driver asking him to call the gardai immediately and not to move the bus.
“He told me to get off before they come down and cause more trouble. No one intervened and the driver took off with the attacker still on the bus.”
After disembarking the bus, Mark was brought to Tallaght University Hospital where he spent the next 6 hours, and issued his statement to gardaí. Medical professionals suggested that he may have a broken nose as a result of being headbutted, but recommended that the victim return for a scan in the coming weeks after the swelling subsides.
The man says that he has been left “completely shook up” by the alleged attack, with local authorities confirming that it is under investigation, however, “No arrests have been made at this time”.
“Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses or for anyone with any information in relation to this assault to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 01 666 6000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station,” officials stated.
A spokesperson for Dublin Bus also commented on the homophobic attack, saying: “Dublin Bus can confirm that we have received a complaint regarding an incident involving a customer on Route 15 on Sunday 14 August 2022. This incident is being fully investigated.”
Mark’s series of tweets sparked an outcry of support, and he later thanked everyone who positively engaged with the post “for their words of encouragement and shares”.
Today will be spent recollecting the events with my friends who were onboard. I have some hazy memories from the headbutt and adrenaline. I want to recount every word said so we can understand how it possibly escalated to this.
— Tai💜 (@TaiHusky_) August 16, 2022
“No one should be antagonized when clearly scared. No one should have to fend themselves when just trying to go home. I should not have been mocked, kicked and headbutted,” he added.
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