A same-sex female couple has said they are living in “hell”, receiving a torrent of homophobic abuse in the hometown in West Limerick.
The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, told the Limerick Leader they were the victims of a premeditated attack on Halloween night when they were “set upon” by a group of youths in Abbeyfeale.
“We went trick-or-treating with my girlfriend’s five-year-old son and my two younger siblings. We were just passing the old cinema when a group of kids ran past us. You wouldn’t take much notice on Halloween night.
“We wanted to try a few houses in Collins Park before we went for food. As we turned into Father Casey Close, they closed us into the cul de sac; there was a group of about 10 or 12.
”One of them started getting up into our faces, calling us slurs and shouting at us. I told her to get out of my girlfriend’s face, and she attacked us. Next thing I knew, there were six or seven of them just attacking us.”
The couple says they feared for their lives in the attack that happened in front of one of the women’s five year-old son and two younger siblings.
“They were all around us, attacking us. They pulled out lumps of our hair. We both knew that if we fell to the floor, we were dead.”
The Limerick couple says this is not the first time they have faced such an attack. Earlier this year, one of the women was assaulted on the street. They feel as though they are being forced out of their home.
“I want to move, but we can’t right now, and we shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to move just because we want to be with the person we love. Just because we want a happy life.”
The perpetrators are estimated to be under the age of 16, which the couple believes makes them untouchable in the eyes of the law.
“They are above the law; they can’t be touched. It shouldn’t be allowed; we shouldn’t be [getting] beat up. We are living in Hell. There is no law protecting me.
“They can jump me, beat me and kill me, and they will get away with it. Every time we leave the door, we are getting abused.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.