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Crime

Gang attack man with steel bars for kissing his boyfriend goodbye outside his own flat

Josh Milton September 27, 2019
A gay man was viscously assaulted by a gang after kissing his boyfriend in Dublin. (Danilo Matta)

A gay man was viscously assaulted by a gang after kissing his boyfriend in Dublin. (Danilo Matta)

A man was brutally beaten by a gang with steel bars after kissing his boyfriend goodbye in the early morning outside his flat in Dublin.

Brazilian national Danilo Matta was coming home last Saturday morning when a group of men and women battered him in an attack that has left him with a split lip and the community stunned.

The 28-year-old, who has lived in the Irish city for 18 month, was saying goodbye to his boyfriend when he was targeted at around 3:30am.

Man beaten with steel bars for kissing boyfriend.

Matta’s boyfriend had tied his bike outside his place above a north Dublin pub and cycled away after kissing goodnight.

After his boyfriend was out of sight, a group of four men – two of whom were on bikes – and two women came towards Matta.

“The gang approached and said, ‘What’s going on here?’, speaking about the kiss they had just witnessed,” Matta told Dublin Live.

“At this stage, I start to feel uneasy but before I can even respond, they hit me in the mouth with a steel bar.

“After this hit, I became dazed and confused and couldn’t understand what had just happened.”

As a gang member swung the bar into Matto’s face, splitting his lip, Matto managed to grab his keys and fled to his apartment.

He added that, when the gang realised the attack was happening just outside his residence, they scrambled in opposite directions.

Matta continued: “I called the Gardaí [state police] but they didn’t come so I went to Kilmainham Garda Station the next day and reported it.

“I rang an ambulance and they arrived quickly. They were very helpful and cleaned me up and made sure I was OK. They wanted me to go to hospital but I just wanted to go to bed so I refused.”

Victim believes attack was motivated by homophobia. 

In a Facebook post, Matta explained that the gang never attempted to take his mobile phone or wallet. “Homophobia? Xenophobia? Maybe, much probably,” he reasoned.

“It is important to know that this kind of things are happening around us. I wasn’t the first one and unfortunately I won’t be the last one.”

In a statement to Dublin Live, a spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed: “We received a call on Saturday, 21 September regarding this incident.

“A male sustained a head injury after being assaulted with a bar. Personnel from North Strand fire station responded to the call and Gardaí were informed about the assault.”

PinkNews have contacted Garda Síochána for comment.

Homophobic hate crimes are rising in Ireland. 

Homophobic hate crimes reported to the Gardaí have soared in the last few years, according to statistics from law enforcement departments.

People take a part in Pride Parade in Dublin. Saturday 29 June 2019, Dublin, Ireland. (Szymon Barylski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Across various patches of the country, policing areas have shown increases in homophobic incidents: from 267 in 2017/18 to 281 in 2018/19.

Many advocates claim that the figures fail to grasp the full extent of what the community faces on the daily. Flagging that statistics provided by law enforcement can often be incomplete as not all victims will report the crimes they experience.

Moreover, the Republic of Ireland lacks legislation that directly criminalises hate crime. A backbone that advocates argue has made Ireland lag behind in equality.

More: Dublin, Hate crime, homophobic, Ireland

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