Man bitten during homophobic attack in Sligo pub
A man has spoken out about a vicious assault he and another man suffered while on a recent date together in Sligo town.
Gary Daly and his date were singled out and subjected to homophobic abuse when someone shouted “are those two gays kissing?”, he says.
"A guy started demanding we leave the bar, but we refused and said ‘we have the same rights as anyone else to be here’," Gary told The Irish Sun.
The man left but shortly came back to the bar with eight to ten friends and set upon Gary and his date.
"He caught me a cheap shot headbutt to the side of my face out of the blue and then they began punching and kicking us.
"We tried to defend ourselves. I was able to subdue one of them, but then one of the other guys threw me down a flight of stairs into the beer garden."
The attackers were thrown out of the pub but returned and once again lashed out.
His date, Gary said, had his head hit off the bar while another attacker went for Gary and managed to bite him on the nose.
"As they were leaving the guy who bit me on the nose said ‘I am not into that shit’."
Gary had to get a hepatitis B shot after the assault while the other victim was unable to eat for some time as his jaw was so badly injured.
He said that this was the first time he had ever been attacked over his sexuality.
"I would second-guess kissing another guy in public," he said.
"It would certainly make me think twice about ever doing it again."
Local Gardaí are now investigating the incident.
Gary's story puts a human face on the homophobia that still exists in Ireland.
A 2016 report from the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) found that 20 per cent of LGBT-identifying people in Ireland had been attacked at some stage in their lives, while 75.2 per cent reported being verbally abuse.
GLEN believes that such attacks and abuse in Ireland are under-reported and so "the problem of sexual and gender harassment is currently severely underestimated."