Last night (18 August) saw a protest against homophobic attack in Phoenix park take place at the Central Criminal Court at Parkgate street.
A Polish gay man was attacked by a mob while cycling in the Park at the end of July. When he reported the attack to the Garda they showed little interest in pursuing it.
A demonstration was called after the attack was reported by LGBTQ media. It was only then than mainstream media reported it at all - but it a problematic way. They tried to create excuses for why the man had been attacked - 'victim-shaming’. This included the fact it took place near sunset as if that's an odd time to cycle in the park. Sunset is actually when the park is often at its most beautiful
But regardless the point is we should never expect people to exist in a state of fear modifying their behaviour and checking over their shoulder 'just in case’. This attack involved a gang of over 10 young men egged on by others. That's where the blame entirely lies and it’s their behaviour that must change.
Up to 100 people took part in the protest, the location was chosen because its very close to the Park entrance but is also representative of the way the state has sought to ignore and not investigate the attack, an illustration that the Garda cannot be relied on to tackle homophobia.
Words & video:Andrew Flood (follow Andrew on Twitter)