A man has spoken out on Twitter about an incident where he was subjected to homophobic slurs while walking past a hotel in Naas, County Kildare.
In a Twitter thread, the man said that as he was walking past the Osprey Hotel with a friend, the words “f*ggots” was yelled out from the windows of one of the rooms by someone staying in the venue. He wrote, “We took it as a joke, and started yelling back asking them to come down and say it to our faces.”
The man further stated, “I took it upon myself to ring the hotel and tell them about what happened. I knew the hotel couldn’t really do anything about it, but I thought I should report it anyways. Around half an hour later, we walked to the hotel to complain about it.”
After speaking with hotel staff, the man and his friend were told to contact the Gardaí about the incident. He said, “They took our details, said they would talk to management, and it’s probably best that we go home. That’s grand, seya later. Off we headed.”
However, upon leaving the hotel, the man was again subjected to homophobic insults being shouted out the window of the same room.
The man wrote on Twitter, “As me, my mother, the Guards, and the security man of the Osprey, stood beneath the window where the abuse had came from, we saw scuttling in the room: people creeping out from behind the curtains, and running back and forth. I pointed up, told the Gardaí that this obviously wasn’t a coincidence, and they told me they could do nothing.”
Following the alleged homophobic incident, the man reached out to the hotel inquiring on what action has been taken. He stated, “The Osprey Hotel have informed me that they condemn any type of hate speech, and will be compliant with any investigation that An Garda Síochána launch. I am grateful for that, and I thank them.”
The man also questioned staff training related to dealing with incidents of homophobic slurs and how companies, such as the Naas hotel, process reports around homophobic slurs. Throughout his Twitter thread, he addresses a clear need for further action in responding to hate speech.
Members of the LGBT+ community have previously called on the Government to bring into effect hate crime and hate speech legislation as a means of tackling discrimination. Though there has been some forward movement for this bill, queer people are reporting a surge of homophobic language and actions in the absence of adequate laws. The man wrote, “I am sick of people insinuating to me that since marriage equality was legalised in this country there’s no homophobia.”
“I was bothered by it. I am bothered by it. I will continue to be bothered by it,” the man continued.
When reached out to for a comment, a spokesperson for Osprey Hotel told GCN that they are taking “this dreadful incident” seriously and are cooperating with the Gardaí investigation. They shared, “We have been completely transparent with our timeline of events and actions and have followed all requests from the authorities to support the investigation.”
The spokesperson continued, “As a company, PREM Group works hard on ensuring we have a culture of respect and fairness, free from discrimination of any variety. We have specific policies, procedures and training around discrimination and our zero tolerance of same. PREM Group is a team of diverse people – we are proud of these differences and work hard to ensure a culture of respect for each other, our guests, and the communities within which we operate.”
“We are deeply shocked that a guest would behave in this manner however, we have refrained from engaging in social media commentary as we believe the matter is best dealt with in person, a process we have been engaged in since the incident occurred,” the spokesperson further outlined.
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