Man beaten in homophobic attack but abuser cannot be charged with hate crime

A gay man beaten up and subjected to homophobic slurs in Dublin is campaigning for a hate crime law to be introduced in Ireland.

Evan Somers, 23, left a well-known gay bar in the early hours of 10 April and was looking for a taxi when a man came up to him shouting homophobic insults.

“He started called me a f*****, then eventually that led to him calling me a f***** with his fists in the air, as he was punching me in the face,” Mr Somers said.

“He was hitting me, punching me, and knocked me out. That’s what led to my injuries.”

Mr Somers was left with a fractured eye socket, and a dislocated and fractured ankle.

He is calling for a specific hate crime law to be introduced in Ireland so that victims, such as himself, can get justice.

Nobody has been arrested in connection with the attack but even if the culprit was found he could not be charged with a hate crime.

A Hate Crime Bill has yet to make it through the Irish parliament and Mr Somers said politicians should act with more urgency to make it law.

Evan Somers was left with a fractured eye socket after the attack

(Evan Somers)

He said: “I think it’s disgraceful. Not just for myself, but for any victim of hate-related attacks. I think this bill, this legislation needs to be prioritised.”

A rugby player, Mr Somers is unsure if he will be able to return to the sport in light of his injuries.

“The bones in my ankle were basically smashed, so surgeons had to put a lot of effort in to repair them,” he said.

Speaking about the attack to Irish broadcast RTE, Mr Somers said that after he was punched “the next thing I remember is waking up, siting on the curb on the side of the road, and my ankle was facing to the left and it wasn’t connected to anything.”

Evan Somers gives an interview to Irish broadcaster RTE

(RTE)

He added: “You don’t expect to just leave a gay bar, walk down the road, and get punched in the face for being gay.

“Dame Street is full of gay people, either leaving The George – a gay bar – and other gay bars. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. He singled me out from my little group and he was calling me gay slurs.

“In 2022 in Ireland, especially Dublin, it’s weird, it’s like the middle ages almost it feels like.”

Mr Somers said that he had become more paranoid walking down the street following the attack.

The attack is the latest in a string of homophobic incidents in Ireland. The town of Sligo has been left reeling after two gay men were found dead in their own homes on 11 and 12 April.

A man in his twenties has been arrested in connection with the murder and police believe that he had been planning to target more gay people in Sligo.

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