Gay couple beaten and stabbed in vicious ‘homophobic attack’ in Ireland
A gay couple in Ireland have said they were victims of a brutal “homophobic attack” after a day out together, with one being kicked in the face and the other stabbed and rushed to hospital.
One half of the couple posted on Facebook to share the story of the attack, which took place at Newbridge train station in County Kildare, Ireland, on the evening of January 31.
In a post that has now been shared almost 4,000 times, Gearóid Laighléis wrote: “Myself and the person I’m seeing decided to go to Newbridge today for a change, we had a great day until we went back to Newbridge train station to get the train back too his place.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get to his house as we were rushed to Tallagh hospital.”
He said that during the “homophobic attack” by three people he was repeatedly kicked in the face until he was on the ground, and that his partner Anthony was stabbed four times and left bleeding. He added that one of the attackers videotaped the incident.
Laighléis continued: “Never in my life did I think I would be kneeling next to somebody I’m with, holding their stab wounds to stop the bleeding to keep him alive.
“I’d never wish what I witnessed tonight on my worst enemy.”
Addressing their attackers directly, he said: “You are scum of the earth to repeatedly stab an innocent fella for only living the life we deserve to live.”
Linda Hayden, a Social Democrat candidate for Kildare South, wrote on Twitter: “I’m horrified to hear that there was a horrific homophobic attack at Newbridge Train station last night, leaving one man beaten to a pulp and another with multiple stab wounds.
“We need serious action on hate crime and hate speech.”
I'm horrified to hear that there was a horrific homophobic attack at Newbridge Train station last night, leaving one man beaten to a pulp and another with multiple stab wounds. We need serious action on hate crime and hate speech.
— Linda Hayden (@LindaHSocDems) February 1, 2020
Gardaí, the police services in the Republic of Ireland, told PinkNews in a statement: “Gardaí are investigating a serious assault that occurred at a Railway Station in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, on 31/01/2020 at approximately 6:40pm.
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“A man in his 20s received stab type injuries and was taken to Tallaght University Hospital with non life threatening injuries. A forensic examination of the scene has been carried out by Garda Scenes of Crime investigators.
“No arrests have been made at this stage. Investigations are continuing.”
They confirmed that the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The Irish government said it was planning to introduce new hate crime legislation after a Dublin man was violently assaulted with hammers in a homophobic attack in October, 2019.
Ireland’s outdated hate-crime legislation – the Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 – means that statistics on anti-LGBT+ and racist attacks are limited.