Nobody, in Ireland today, should be targeted because of their sexual orientation

Garda confirmation that it is investigating a hate motive in relation to two brutal murders in Sligo marks a dark week for the LGBTQI+ community in Ireland, according to Social Democrats Social Justice spokesperson Holly Cairns.

“The horrific murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee in recent days, and the savage assault of another gay man in the town at the weekend, have left residents in Sligo reeling and have shocked the nation. Separately, Evan Somers was seriously assaulted in Dublin at the weekend in a homophobic attack.

“The level of fear, distress and horror that these murders and attacks have caused in the LGBTQI+ community are immense. Nobody, in Ireland today, should be targeted because of their sexual orientation and we must have a zero tolerance approach to any form of homophobia in our society.

“For too long in our history, members of the LGBTQI+ community were abused and victimised and we cannot go back to those dark days. Ireland is, and must remain, an open and diverse society in which members of the LGBTQI+ community feel safe to participate fully.

“Politicians have a role here also. As it stands, Ireland has no hate crime legislation and this has seriously inhibited our ability to document the true number of homophobic attacks in our society. There is also currently no obligation on courts to account for the hate element of a crime when sentencing.

“If we don’t measure a problem, we will never know the extent of it. This must change. I am hopeful the government will fast-track the implementation of its Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill. It will have the full support of the Social Democrats if it does so.”

13 April, 2022

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