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Police condemn homophobic assault

January 8, 2013

By Christine Keighery

A vicious hate crime which took place just before Christmas on a Dublin to Belfast train has been met with widespread condemnation.   A 51 year old man was assaulted by four men who shouted homophobic abuse at him as they travelled between Newry and Portadown.

The attack, which took place around 10.30pm on Saturday 22nd December left the victim with a broken nose and minor head injuries.  The man also had his laptop smashed before his attackers stole his iPod Nano and two sets of earphones. The four men got off the train in Portadown.

Police have confirmed the attack is being treated as a hate crime and appealed for anyone with information about the assault or anyone who was travelling on the Enterprise train on the evening in question to contact them at Mahon Road on 045 600 8000.

A PSNI spokesperson condemned Hate Crime as “unacceptable.”

“No one deserves to experience it and no one deserves to get away with it. To stop it, report it” the spokesperson continued.

“Do not suffer in silence. Police Minorities Liaison Officer (MLO) are available to offer advice and support to all victims of Hate Crime.

“In order to avail of this service please contact your local MLO. Your call will be treated confidentially. “

Columba O’Hare, from the Newry Rainbow Community (NRC) branded this and all types of Hate Crime as “unforgivable.”

“Newry Rainbow Community exists to help create a society where lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people can get on with their lives just like everyone else, without abuse, either physical or mental, and we utterly condemn this totally unwarranted attack and hope the victim makes a full recovery.”

Mr O’Hare encouraged anyone with any concerns in relation to such attacks to alert police and contact the NRC at the Drop in Centre at 82a Hill Street on Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon or ring 028 3025 0528. Alternatively email nrc@gaynewry.com.

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