Rugby player injected in suspected homophobic attack

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he is appalled over a suspected homophobic attack which left a young rugby player hospitalized in Dublin.

Evan Somers posted on social media that a stranger had used homophobic slurs against him, before attacking him causing multiple injuries including a fractured eye socket and ankle fractures.

They said the attack happened around the Dame Street area of ​​the city in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Minister for Justice described the attack as a vicious and targeted assault and said it should not have happened.

Helen McEntee also said the question of gardaí on the streets and ensuring attacks like it do not happen is something she is very conscious of and has spoken to the Garda Commissioner about it several times.

She also wished Evan Somers well.

Mr Varadkar said he was shocked that an assault of that nature would occur in Dublin and said he would be discussing new hate crime laws with the Minister for Justice.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Advocacy and Policy Officer with the national LGBT Federation NXF Adam Long has said that violent attacks of this nature are frequent and on the rise, adding that Ireland is an outlier in Europe because it has no hate crime legislation.

“Evan is extraordinarily brave in sharing his ordeal, because I think part of the more sinister nature of hate crime is that it targets somebody’s identity and it seeks to silence victims and to shame victims. We really do commend Evan for speaking out.”

Evan Somer’s aunt, Kamara Somers, said her nephew was saddened by the attack but received many messages of support has helped him through.

She also said while it is clear much progress has been made in recent years recognizing gay rights, it is clear there is some way to go. She said it was unbelievable that in the year 2022 “we’re talking about homophobic attacks”.

Last night a stranger called me a fagot before beating the shit out of me. He left me with a fractured eye socket, 2 fractures in my ankle, a dislocation in my ankle & some other minor injuries. We’ve come a long way but still have such a long way to go in terms of equality. pic.twitter.com/aAA8OQ83QY

– Evan (@ebintosh) April 10, 2022

Mr Somer’s rugby team, the Emerald Warriors, said they were devastated and shocked following the news of the attack.

The Irish Rugby Federation got it stood shoulder to shoulder with Evan at this time. It got violence and homophobia has no place in our society.

Gardaí said they are investigating the circumstances of the assault, including any hate-related motivation.

They said the man was taken to St James’s Hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

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