News :: Crime

Northern Ireland Man Attacked in Alleged Hate Crime

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Sep 26, 2013
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A man from Belfast, Northern Ireland, alleges that he was beaten after leaving a popular gay nightclub by two men, who hurled anti-gay slurs at him, the Fermanagh (North Ireland) Herald reports.

Dean McKenzie, 23, left the Kremlin Nightclub on foot early Monday morning after what he calls a "usual" night out. But on his way home, he says two men jumped him, calling him "poof," "dirty queer" and kicked and punched him in the face.

"I just came round the corner, a two minute walk from the club and two guys came out of nowhere," Dean told the Fermanagh Herald. "One of them asked ’Did you have a good night you poof?’At this stage I realized I was in danger, one of them struck out and punched me. And when I fell, the other one kicked me in the face, hence the nose bleed. They called me a ’dirty queer’ and left me lying there."

The authorities confirmed to the Herald that they are currently investigating the attack.

"Police are investigating reports that a man was assaulted in the Royal Avenue area of Belfast sometime between 12.05am and 3am on Sunday (September 23). It is understood the male had left licensed premises when he was approached by two males who assaulted him. Enquiries are continuing," a police spokesman told the Herald.

McKenzie recently appeared "The Nolan Show," hosted by BBC Northern Ireland commentator, Stephen Nolan, to discuss the gay marriage debate in the country.

"I am feeling a little shaken but completely overwhelmed by the huge support I have received from people in Fermanagh and Belfast, gay and straight," he told the newspaper. "This attack only highlights that homophobia still very much exists and perhaps that something of which the DUP and other various political parties should be concerned with and not the fact whether gay people should be allowed to marry or adopt. However, I’m still determined to put my head up and be proud of who I am."

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