A young man was assaulted in a suspected homophobic attack while on a late night bus home in Dublin in the early hours of Sunday.
Mark Sheehan (26) had been out socialising last Saturday night in The George nightclub on Dame Street with three friends, celebrating two of their birthdays.
While taking a late bus home with his friends, Mr Sheehan was assaulted by a young man on the bus, after being called a “f****t” by a group of men.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Sheehan said at the end of their night out his group of friends got the number 15 Dublin Bus home southbound from the city centre.
While sitting upstairs on the bus, he and his friends began to get verbally abused by some men.
Mr Sheehan said he was called a “freak” and the homophobic slur “f****t”.
“We were terrified. We regret not getting a taxi. I was clearly shaken,” he said.
When he and his friends went to get off the bus, Mr Sheehan said one of the young men got up and headbutted him in the face. “I looked down, my jeans and everything were covered in blood,” he said.
Mr Sheehan said he asked the bus driver to stop the bus while the Garda were called, but the driver advised him to get off for his safety and then the bus drove away. “My face was gashed open … I was bawling my eyes out for about an hour,” he said.
The attitude of some young men to the LGBTQ+ community was “very toxic,” he said. “I can’t even go out for a nice night with friends. The frustration is raging,” he said.
A Garda spokesman confirmed gardaí are investigating an assault of a man in his 20s that occurred on the Firhouse Road, South Dublin, at 4am on Sunday.
A spokesman for Dublin Bus confirmed to The Irish Times that it had received a complaint about the incident, which was being fully investigated.