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Crime

Irish government considering new legislation after horrifying hate crime

Patrick Kelleher October 19, 2019
Gay man who meant to meet someone from Grindr ambushed and attacked by teen gang with hammers in hate crime

Marc Power was attacked by a group of teenagers after he arranged to meet a man on Grindr (Photos courtesy of Marc Power)

The Irish government is planning to introduce new hate crime legislation after a Dublin man was violently assaulted in a homophobic attack this week.

The Department of Justice is carrying out research into international best practice in hate crime legislation and is also planning a public consultation process, TheJournal.ie reports.

The move comes just days after Marc Power, who is in his 50s, was violently beaten by a group of teenagers with hammers after he arranged to meet a man on Grindr.

When he arrived at the Odeon cinema where they were due to meet, the teenagers injured him and seriously damaged his car.

Irish hate-crime legislation is not fit for purpose, activists claim.

The incident has drawn attention to Ireland’s outdated hate-crime legislation, which means that statistics on anti-LGBT+ and racist attacks are limited.

The legislation that is currently in place – the Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 – is not fit for purpose, activists claim. The Irish Times reported in 2017 that the Act had led to just five convictions since its introduction.

They were trying to hit me on the head with hammers.

The Act predates the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland and makes it an offence to create or distribute racist, homophobic or discriminatory materials. Those convicted face up to two years in prison and a €10,000 fine.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said they are reviewing the Act and will soon announce details of their public consultation process.

Irish government considering new hate crime legislation after horrifying hate crime
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty

Writing on Facebook about his attack earlier this week, Marc Power said the group of teenagers “tried to kill” him with hammers.

Group of teenagers attacked Marc Power with hammers.

“They were trying to hit me on the head with hammers. They didn’t manage but I’m in the emergency room in hospital with facial injuries and my car was destroyed.

“I’m OK but f**king angry,” he continued. “I need to find out why Grindr allows violent scum to open accounts.

“The police were helpful but hands tied as dumb teenage scum fear nothing.” He hopes that the boys responsible for the attack – in which he was called a “faggot” – are rounded up.

In a statement released earlier this week, Grindr said they were “heartbroken” to hear about Power’s assault.

The gay dating app said that they have a number of measures in place to help protect users.

“We consistently look for ways to strengthen how we protect our users,” the spokesperson said.

“We also listen to and engage wit hour community through many channels, encouraging them to report suspicious activities through our in-app reporting function, and investigating and addressing issues that are brought to our attention.”

More: Dublin, Grindr, Hate crime, legislation, Marc Power

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