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sick attack Young gay couple attacked by thugs who shouted homophobic slurs in Drogheda

Disgust at assault on two gay students

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Drogheda LGBTQ group founder Peter James Nugent

Drogheda LGBTQ group founder Peter James Nugent

Drogheda LGBTQ group founder Peter James Nugent

Two Leaving Cert students who were viciously assaulted in a homophobic attack in Louth want to see the perpetrators face justice, a relative of one of the victims said this week.

Gardaí have launched an investigation after two young men, who are both aged 18, were attacked by a group of youths in Drogheda who shouted homophobic slurs at them before knocking one victim unconscious and leaving the other with a broken nose.

The grandfather of one of the young men, who asked not to be named, said the teens want to see the attackers face justice.

"I thought [homophobic attacks] died out years ago," he told the Sunday World. "They want to see whoever done it brought before the courts."

The attack happened near the entrance to the Rosevale estate on the Beamore Road in the town around 10pm on Tuesday, March 30.

The grandfather of the young man who suffered a broken nose said the victims had been out after completing their Leaving Cert Oral examination and were walking home when they bumped into girls who had been drinking in another field.

"They were out in a field. The grandson had finished his [Leaving Cert] Orals and they went out to get fresh air. They had a few drinks and they were on their way home when they started talking to the girls."

They were walking along with the girls when a group of young men arrived and tried to get the girls to come with them before attacking the lads.

"As they got to a junction they just heard 'f****t gays' and they were attacked."

He said his grandson's boyfriend was knocked unconscious in the attack.

"He doesn't remember anything. He remembers nothing about it. He remembers walking home and the next thing he knew he was on the ground.

"The grandson ended up with his nose broken in two places. He has to go up to Beaumont this Friday to get it assessed."

Gardaí carried out door-to-door inquiries during the week.

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The grandfather added that the victims haven't gone to the local shops or into town since the attack and are currently trying to concentrate on studying for their Leaving Cert.

Peter James Nugent, founder of Drogheda LGBTQ Group, condemned the attack and said his group have offered support to the victims.

"It was a homophobic attack. It's terrible to see and it's horrific. For this to happen to people in school who are trying to focus on exams is really, really sad.

"I'm so shocked to hear that it happened. I thought the days when things like this happened were over but obviously not."

"We offered the support to the two victims, either through counselling or whatever they might need over the next couple of weeks or months."

He said there was another homophobic attack in Drogheda around six weeks ago but other than that he wasn't aware of any in around a year.

determined

He said gardaií have been very supportive of the LGBTQ community in Drogheda and he is hopeful the attackers are brought to justice.

"The guard who is looking after it is determined to get the people who did it. I'm very surprised to see anything like that in the town. We have the full support of An Garda Síochána."

Gardaí at Drogheda Garda Station have appealed for anyone with information or anyone with CCTV or dash cams in the area on the night of the incident to contact them.

There are no hate crime laws in Ireland, but plans are underway to bring in legislation.

Gardaí have recently started to record suspected hate crimes in an attempt to build up a picture of the level of it in Ireland.

They define hate crime as "any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to, in whole or in part, be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on actual or perceived age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender".

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