Rise in homophobic assualts in Northern Ireland

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Continuing violent attacks against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community across Northern Ireland has been met with a lack of action from local authorities, forcing many to leave the country, according to a report from Gay.com.

Ireland’s gay activist group Rainbow Project believes Donegal is losing many lesbians and gay people who believe they are no longer able to live in the area. The area has seen a number of violent attacks over the last two years, the latest of which resulted in a man losing an eye.

The man was attacked last week in a violent beating that police described as homophobic.

Sean Morrin, a gay rights activist throughout the United Kingdom, told the Donegal News that the attacks are driving gay men out of the area to places they believe are safer.

“What is happening is that more and more people are being driven out of Donegal because there are not enough statutory services available,” he said. “Politicians and others who influence society have remained far too silent on the plight of gay people.”

Official figures, released last year, point to 196 cases of violence against the gay community in the 2004/2005 ranking period. That is compared with 71 cases in the preceding period.

Northern Ireland became the last part of the UK to legalise homosexuality in 1982.

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