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Hero firefighter hit with barrage of vile homophobic abuse from Brexiteers after calling out racism

Josh Milton February 10, 2020
Pat Carberry (R), a gay firefighter, was targeted with homophobic abuse by brexiteers

Pat Carberry (R), a gay firefighter, with British opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Supplied)

A gay British firefighter of more than 33 years was subjected to vile abuse from Brexiteers for simply pointing out that a comment was racist.

Leighton brigade member Patrick Carberry, who has won countless national awards for his activism, was dubbed a “f**kin unless gay piece of s**t” and told he deserves “to be shot”, on Facebook on 31 January.

Carberry, national secretary for the Fire Brigades Union LGBT Committee, told PinkNews: “Could not believe what I was reading.”

He has since filed the incident to local law enforcement, which was referred to Bedfordshire Police’s hate crime unit.

What happened?

Shortly after the bells bonged across Britain to signify that the UK was officially withdrawing from the European Union, Carberry logged-onto his local Facebook community group.

Leighton Be-Buggered (Uncensored) is a group with around 8,000 members for the Bedfordshire town of Leighton Buzzard, designed to give users a space to “moan or complain”, the page describes.

But the moaning of some users mired Carberry’s night.

“I made comments in a conversation stream on the night that Brexit happened, where a group member celebrating the event made reference to ‘foreign b*****ds’,” he explained.

“Someone responded telling them they were a ‘racist w**ker’. They responded stating ‘Remoaners’ were so easy to wind up.

“I posted a comment that saying, ‘Remoaners are easy to wind up’ will not stop people thinking he is a w**ker given the content of his post.”

Waking up the following morning, a Facebook user replied to Carberry saying: “You really are a f***in unless gay piece of s**t.

“All terrorist supporters like you should be shot.”

(Facebook)

The user then targeted Carberry over his profile picture, which is of him with lame-duck Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Abuse does ‘not reflect’ Brexiteers, stresses firefighter.

The message rattled Carberry, who felt the comment was “extreme” and did “not reflect” Brexiteers.

“On social media when discussing issues as contentious as Brexit I accept that people will disagree with you and there will be a degree of name calling but my sexuality plays no part in forming my political view on Brexit.

“This wasn’t simply a case of verbally abusing me but including my sexuality as justification.

“The abuse went further to imply I was a terrorist supporter and should be shot.”

Pat Carberry (R) with his husband David and Dany Cotton, former London Fire Brigade Commissioner. (Supplied)
Pat Carberry (R) with his husband David (L) and Dany Cotton, former London Fire Brigade Commissioner. (Supplied)

“During my 33 years of working as a firefighter, 11 and a half of those years were served with the Royal Air Force working in their fire service, I am proud to have served my country,” he said.

“The profile picture of the person sending me the post was of a man dressed in army combat uniform holding a rifle and this I found particularly menacing.”

He continued: “I do not believe the comments from the abuser are reflective of the attitude of the vast majority of those who voted leave.”

“Brexit may be a reality, but if there are people out there who now think it means that they can express hatred and suggest people should be shot then they need to be made aware that such expression will not be tolerated and that they will be held to account for what they say.”

More: brexit, Britain, Facebook, fight fighting, Homophobia, Jeremy Corbyn

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