Gangs of homophobic youth are prowling Dublin at night, TD warns

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan addressed the Dail about the rise in homophobic attacks in Dublin, indicating that efforts needed to be made to counteract the violence.

An Image of Dublin overlooking the River Liffey. It is dark and there are lights from the buildings on the streets that reflect on the water.
Image: image via unsplash by Dimitry Anikin

Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fail TD for Dublin Bay South, spoke with the Dail about the concerning rise in homophobic attacks in the city centre. “A dangerous level of unprovoked and gratuitous violence is being perpetrated against people who are socialising in Dublin at night time,” he warned.

He further stated that: “We need to understand what is happening. Gangs of youths who believe they are immune to apprehension are prowling Dublin city at night time looking for people to attack.”

A Lucan man was left with a broken leg and a fractured eye socket earlier this month after an alleged homophobic incident in Dublin city centre. Evan Somers was walking along Dame Street with his cousin and his cousin’s boyfriend, when he was cornered and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse before being violently assaulted.

He recalled the incident saying, “The man who assaulted me ran after us and started to harass us, even though we had never spoken to him before.”

Jim O’Callaghan added that the attackers “are misogynistic towards women, they are homophobic towards gay people and they are particularly seeking to target men in their late teens to their 30s who are on their own or just with one other person.”

Deputy O’Callaghan has strongly advised that a better garda presence on the streets at night is needed to prevent a potential killing that could damage the tourism industry.

He explained that “If you go to other European cities you see a good number of policemen patrolling those inner cities at nighttime. We don’t have enough gardaí on the streets at night time.” 

Fellow Fianna Fail TD John Lahart contributed to the discussion, saying that the attacks were not just happening in the city, they were also present in the suburbs too. The Dublin South-West TD explained that Tallaght Garda station, which was built in the 1980s, was “completely outdated now”.

Gardaí have recently had to take two floors in the nearby Plaza Hotel “in order to be able to fulfil the functions they have to fulfil”, he stated.

Deputy O’Callaghan also fears that Dublin will receive a bad reputation for its violence if it is not addressed fully.

 “I fear that if it is not checked or challenged… Dublin will get a terrible name as a place of violence,” he expressed.

As a result of the alarming rate of violence in Dublin, a new Garda station has been announced to open in the city centre. The station is set to be located at 13 O’Connell Street, which was previously used as a Citizens Information office. Both Operation Citizen and Operation Spire, which aim to target anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, will also run from the premises.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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