transphobia fears | 

Gardai probe attack on transgender woman in Cork

‘We can confirm that this was an unprovoked attack on a member of our community, who is a transgender woman’

There are fears of transphobia in Cork© Universal Images Group via Getty

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Concerns have been raised regarding transphobia in Cork after a transgender woman was the victim of a violent attack in Blackrock.

It has been reported that the alleged assault took place on Skehard Road at approximately 1.30pm on Tuesday, February 21.

It is understood that the victim, who is in her 40s, had been walking in the area when a car pulled up beside her.

At least two men emerged from the vehicle and approached her, one of which was carrying a crutch.

According to reports, she suffered several lacerations to her head and a suspected fractured hand after she was beaten by the armed assailants.

The attackers fled the scene in the car before gardaí arrived, while the woman was brought to hospital for treatment.

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Cork Gender Rebels expressed their concern following the incident, saying that "the attack was very likely fuelled by transphobia".

The Irish Examiner reported that the organisation stated: “We can confirm that this was an unprovoked attack on a member of our community, who is a transgender woman, and that the attack was very likely fuelled by transphobia. She is staying at an undisclosed place to ensure her safety,” the organisation stated.

Gardaí said officers at Anglesea Street Garda Station were investigating “an alleged assault that occurred at Skehard Road, Blackrock, Cork on Tuesday afternoon, 21st February 2023 at approximately 1.30pm”.

“A female was removed from the scene with non-life threatening injuries. Investigations are ongoing.”

The violent incident came just one day after a gay social media influencer, David Babington, was the victim of a similar attack in Cork.

Known online as Material Boy, the 43-year-old claims to have been “gay-bashed” while on his way to the Imperial Hotel in the city centre.

Speaking to his 13.7k followers, he revealed the alleged attack occurred after leaving his friends, en route to the Imperial Hotel in the city.

He recalled passing a pub when, he said, a man in his 40s shouted homophobic slurs at him before engaging in an altercation.

"To be a 43-year-old man and have to face this... to be gay-bashed at 43 in Cork City... is something I had never anticipated would have happened to me again," he said.

Pointing to his bruised face, Mr Babington said: "This is the Ireland that we're in".

As he became visibly emotional towards the end of the video, Mr Babington added: "I feel completely numb."

Ending the video, he said: "It's not safe to be gay, clearly".

Last month a report showed 2022 was the most violent year for LGBTQ+ people in Europe in a decade.

The report also highlighted a rise in transphobic speech has been identified in Ireland along with Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

The most recent statistics from An Garda Síochána show that, of 448 hate crimes and hate-related incidents in 2021, 15% were motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.

Policy and Research Manager with LGBT Ireland, Pádraig Rice, who contributed to the report, referred to the "year of hate" that the community in Ireland has faced.

"Every month for the last 12, there has been coverage in GCN, a monthly LGBTQ community magazine, of a serious attack on an LGBTQ+ person," said Mr Rice.

"The truth is homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are an everyday reality for many LGBTQ+ people in Ireland."

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