Thugs smash up politician’s house and car in suspected homophobic attack
A gay councillor’s house and car were vandalised by thugs – just days after he received homophobic hate mail.
Francis Timmons, an independent councillor who represents Clondalkin in Dublin, complained just days ago about anonymous homophobic letters that were sent to his house.
Mr Timmons had spoken out about the messages, insisting the homophobes would not win.
But just days after he complained about the letters , the councillor and his husband were the victim of another attack.
The pair awoke this morning to discover that their car windscreen had been smashed, as well as a glass pane in the front door to their house, and a second window where the pair had displayed cuddly toys.
Speaking to The Journal, Mr Timmons said: “My husband got up to go to work and when he went out to the hall he discovered glass all over the floor.
“Then, he realised that the front door window was smashed as well. Of course, then he went to the car and the car was smashed too.
“I was obviously very upset and very annoyed. I went from being upset to annoyed.
“You just don’t expect something like this coming up to Christmas.”
The pair say it is the fourth incident in just six months.
In addition to the vandalism and the two letters, a man also recorded a video outside their house shouting homophobic slurs, which was posted online.
In the clip, he shouts: “A man can be gay but when a man tries to be a f**king woman it’s just f**king weird. You’ve got mental problems.
“You have no kids, you will never have kids. Get a f**king dog or a kitten.”
Timmons says the incidents illustrate why hate crime legislation needs to be introduced in Ireland.
He said: “There’s currently very little you can do to charge people. It’s very hard because we don’t have hate legislation.
“I would give Ireland a legal route in terms of charging people for homophobic language, the same with racist language.”
He added: “I’m a man in my 40s with a fairly thick skin.
“If this was sent to somebody that wasn’t able to cope with it, it could have a devastating effect leading to suicide or something very serious. It’s not acceptable to treat other human beings like that.”
Authorities are investigating the incident.
Timmons previously handed the homophobic hate mail into the police for investigation.
“The person who sent this needs to be aware of its offensive connotations and that homophobic behaviour is not acceptable in our inclusive and progressive country,” he told Dublin Live.
Timmons said the police are investigating whether the letter is linked to another he received last summer.
In July he and his husband received a photo of Pope Benedict and a letter about World Family Day
The envelope was addressed to “Darren and Francis, ‘The S***-Pushers Den.’”
“It was a horrible thing to get, absolutely vile,” Timmons told the Dublin Gazette.
“It’s sad to see this kind of thing still going on in modern-day Ireland.”
Timmons said just the day before he had been working on LGBT strategy for South Dublin County Council.
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“I’m in politics, I can grow a hard skin, but my partner is not involved in public life and he doesn’t expect that kind of stuff,” he said.
“He took it very bad, he was very upset.”
Timmons posted a picture of the letter on Facebook, and received an overwhelming response of support.
Just two months ago Timmons and his partner Darren got married after over 18 years together – showing they weren’t going to let homophobic incidents hold us back.
“We’ve come such a long way in Ireland, but this just shows that we’ve a bit of work yet to do. I respect other people’s lives and all I ask is that they do the same,” Timmons said.