Gay rugby player may never play again after homophobic thug broke his ankle

Evan Somers

A gay Irish rugby player may have to retire his boots after a violent homophobic attack left him with a shattered ankle and fractured eye.

After a night out at the iconic LGBT+ George Bar in Dublin, Evan Somers, 23, was left with his ankle facing away from his body in a brutal homophobic attack.

Somers was walking through the city when a lone man walked up to him, called him a “f****t” and punched him in the early hours of 10 April.

A member of the Emerald Warriors RFC, Ireland’s first LGBT+ inclusive rugby team, he now fears that he may never be able to play the sport again.

Somers told RTE that as well as losing his  sense of peace and safety, he now has to wear a Controlled Ankle Motion or CAM boot on his ankle after it was shattered. Somers has also had pins and plates inserted in to his ankle.

“I’m not sure I’ll get back to what I was doing before,” Somers said.

Sommers said he has been left “more paranoid” and wary of going for nights out in Dublin.

He said: “I’d be quicker to look over my shoulder now. I am definitely more paranoid and aware of my surroundings.”

A homophobic attack in Ireland is something Somers could not wrap his head around. He said it felt like Ireland had gone back to the “Middle Ages.”

“You didn’t expect to leave a gay bar, walk down the road and get punched in the face for being gay,” he said.

Sharing photos of the attack in a viral tweet on 10 April, Somers wrote: “Last night a stranger called me a f****t before beating the s**t out of me.

“He left me with a fractured eye socket, two fractures in my ankle, a dislocation in my ankle and some other minor injuries. We’ve come a long way but still have such a long way to go in terms of equality.”

In a report by the Garda research unit, it was found that at least 28 per cent of gay men in Ireland had been victimised at least once during their adult life because of their sexual orientation, while 13 per cent of gay men had suffered physical assault.