appalling | 

Young rugby player injured in Dublin homophobic attack posts surgery update

'I had surgery on my ankle today but another surgery is required on my ankle and maybe one for my eye'

Mr Somers posted an update on his treatment

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The young rugby player who was hospitalised after a suspected homophobic attack in Dublin has posted an update on the surgery on his leg.

Evan Somers (23) has been treated for multiple injuries, including a fractured eye socket and ankle fractures, following the incident in the Dame Street area in the early hours of Sunday.

Taking to Twitter last night, Mr Somers posted picture of his leg while lying in a hospital bed.

He wrote: “For anyone asking: the result of surgery number 1! This things is basically screwed into my ankle and is currently holding my bones together I believe.

“Once the inflammation goes down I’ll get surgery number 2 where I’ll get plates & screws in my ankle.”

Evan Somers

The attack on Mr Somers led to Justice Minister Helen McEntee vowing to increase garda numbers and was condemned by hundreds of people including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and the singer Boy George.

Mr Somers received numerous best wishes to his latest post.

One person asked: “Do you know if the attack was caught on cctv? Are the Garda investigating?”

Mr Somers replied: “Garda are investigating & have been very helpful so far. It’s no longer just being treated as assault but a hate crime now and they will be checking the cctv in the area in the next few days they said but the area it happened it wasn’t the most well-lit.”

In dozens of other replies to the post, one person has added: “Evan, Sorry, you have experienced this horrific attack. Sending you lots of Love and hugs.”

Another added: “Absolutely awful. Wishing you as speedy a recovery as possible.

One said: “Hope you get better sooner Evan,” while another said: “Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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In reply, Mr Somers said: “Just wanna say thanks to everyone who has reached out to me again, when I tweeted the situation to my small amount of followers.

“I NEVER expected a response even 1/4 this big. I had surgery on my ankle today but another surgery is required on my ankle and maybe one for my eye.”

In the wake of the “appalling” attack, Ms McEntee said she planned to discuss street policing with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and “wants to increase garda numbers, full stop”.

“I am utterly appalled by what happened,” Minister McEntee said.

“Anybody who has seen the tweet and the pictures of what happened to this poor gentleman, it shouldn’t have happened.

“Whoever is responsible, we need to make sure the gardaí are allowed to carry out their work and hopefully somebody will be apprehended

“I have spoken to the Tánaiste about this, he has raised it with me, but I’ve also spoken to the Garda Commissioner in recent weeks about Dublin City and about Operation Citizen, which was put in place just last year where we have over 500 additional garda hours every week.

“I want to increase garda numbers, full stop, and the fact that we have funding for 800 garda recruits this year, that’s a start, and however the Garda Commissioner deploys them is obviously a matter for the commissioner.”

Mr Somers wrote on Twitter that a stranger had used homophobic slurs against him before attacking him.

He wrote: “Last night a stranger called me a f***ot before beating the s*** out of me. He left me with a fractured eye socket, two fractures in my ankle, a dislocation in my ankle and some minor injuries.

“We’ve come a long way but still have such a long way to go in terms of equality.

“Genuinely didn’t share this for attention, I felt like it needed to be seen instead of hidden away because this is the reality of what so many LGBTQ+ people go through regularly and if it makes you uncomfortable, maybe it should.”

Mr Varadkar said he was “appalled” by the incident and said he planned to discuss it with Ms McEntee.

In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “Shocked and appalled that an assault of this nature occurred in our capital city. Will discuss with Helen McEntee re garda presence on our street and new hate crime laws. Sorry about what happened. Wishing you a swift recovery.”

Singer Boy George also condemned the attack in a post on Twitter.

Mr Somers is a member of Emerald Warriors RFC, Ireland’s first LGBT+ inclusive rugby team.

In a statement on Twitter, the team said it was “devastated” by the attack.

In a statement to the Sunday World, gardaí confirmed they are investigating the incident.

They are also appealing for any witnesses to the attack to contact Pearse Street garda station on 01 6669000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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