Man in his 20s assaulted in suspected hate crime
Gardaí investigating attack in which victim suffered ‘stab-type’ injuries on Friday
Gardaí are investigating a serious assault that occurred at a railway station in Newbridge, Co Kildare, on Friday. Photograph: Google Street View
A man in his 20s received “stab-type injuries” in a suspected hate crime at a train station in Co Kildare on Friday.
Gardaí are investigating a serious assault that occurred at a railway station in Newbridge, Co Kildare, at about 6.40pm.
The man was taken to Tallaght University Hospital with what are described as non-life-threatening injuries.
It is understood that the attack is believed to have been homophobic in nature.
A forensic examination of the scene has been carried out by Garda investigators.
No arrests have been made at this stage and investigations are continuing, a Garda spokesman said.
Chris Pender, a Social Democrats councillor, and former chairman of Kildare LGBT, welcomed the news that the assault was being treated as a possible hate crime.
“It’s great to see that this is being treated as a hate crime, that’s a big change from how attacks like this were dealt with years ago,” Mr Pender said.
“But I don’t want people to think that this is a regular occurrence, it’s just a one-off incident that needs to be treated.”
“Kildare is not inherently hateful, especially Newbridge. It’s an honest, welcoming and open community.”
He called for a dedicated community policing unit to be established in the area, and for proper hate crime legislation to ensure prosecution can be carried out.
“I think the best way to tackle crime is for gardaí to be out on the ground, meeting with people, and letting them know that they’re there and will protect them, and then they need to backed up by effective legislation,” he added.
In a statement, LGBT Ireland also called for hate-crime legislation to be put in place to ensure perpetrators are punished.
“We have been raising the need for hate-crime legislation with general election candidates from all parties over the past two weeks, calling on them to make it a top priority if they are elected,” said Paula Fagan, chief executive of LGBT Ireland.
“This brutal attack last evening should signal to politicians that urgent action is needed to send out a clear message that hate crimes will not be tolerated in this country.”
Last year, the gardaí published a diversity and integration strategy, which hopes to enhance the identification, reporting, investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.