A gay Irish rugby player was brutally assaulted in a homophobic attack outside a Dublin club earlier this month, first by a single man hurling antigay slurs and then by a group of young men who came upon the scene and joined in the attack.
Evan Somers, 23, said he had just left The George on Dame Street in the early morning hours of April 10 when a complete stranger called him a “f*gg*t before beating the sh*t” out of him.
Somers told Lunchtime Live he was with his cousin and her boyfriend when the man spotted them leaving the club and made a “beeline” for him.
“I’m clearly the gay one of the group,” Somers told Lunchtime Live. “And it’s not something I try to hide.
The man allegedly approached Somers and called him a “baldy c-word” along with other “certain gay slurs starting with ‘f’” before he sucker-punched the rugby player in the face, fracturing his eye socket.
“And from there, to be honest, I don’t remember a lot. I did get knocked unconscious, I believe,” Somer said. “Along the way, I did fracture my ankle in two different places.”
Police say at that point a group of men happened upon the assault and allegedly joined the attack on the defenseless Somers. The same group was suspected of an unprovoked attack on an Italian man a short time earlier in the area. Like Somers, that man was also hospitalized.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, the second highest office in the country, told the Independent he arrived early on the scene of the attack and was “shocked and appalled that an assault of this nature happened in our capital city.”
“I am utterly appalled by what happened, anybody who has seen the tweet and the pictures of what happened to this poor gentleman, it shouldn’t have happened," Minister for Justice Helen McEntee told the Independent.
Tensions have been high in the region following the brutal killings of two gay men in Sligo earlier this month. Yousef Palani, 22, also of Sligo, was charged with the murders Aldan Moffitt, 42, and Michael Snee, 58. Snee’s body was found in his home on Tuesday, April 12, and Moffitt’s body was discovered a day earlier. Police said both men sustained “significant” injuries prior to their deaths. Palani reportedly said little at his initial court hearing, but instead sat with his arms folded across his chest and stared at the judge.
Somers later thanked the community for the outpouring of support in the wake of the horrific attack.
“Genuinely wish I could reply to everyone’s Tweets here!,” Somers commented on his original post. “I appreciate each and every one of you, I feel a lot less alone right now and my faith in humanity is just a little bit restored.”