Friday 22 September 2017

'Shocked and truly disheartened' - Ireland's best-known gay club vandalised with homophobic messages and swastikas

The George bar was vandalised with homophobic messages this morning. Photo: Gary Shaw/Twitter
The George bar was vandalised with homophobic messages this morning. Photo: Gary Shaw/Twitter
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Ireland's best known gay club's exterior was vandalised with homophobic messages overnight.

Discriminatory messages were chalked on the The George on Dublin's George street in the early hours of this morning.

The vile messages were promptly washed away by staff.

The vandalism comes during a weekend of celebrations as Ireland marks two years since the Marriage Equality Refendum passed.

Before the messages were cleaned off, Twitter user Gary Shaw took a snap.

Management for the club released a statement on their Facebook page, saying the are "shocked and truly disheartened" after the incident.

"Thanks for all the support and messages today. We are shocked and truly disheartened to see our building vandalised especially with the anniversary of the equality vote this weekend.

"But at times like these our community has come together in support like it always does. We won't let this ruin us celebrating today's anniversary."

Editor of the Gay Community News Brian Finnegan told Independent.ie that the vandalism shows homophobia still exists in Ireland.

"It happened on the exact anniversary to the day of the marriage equality referendum in May 2015. Last night in The Tivoli Theatre over 2,000 people came together to celebrate Yestival, and at the same time down the road this was taking place.

"The George is Dublin's most identifiable gay spot and this shows that there are still people who think it's perfectly acceptable to be viciously homophobic and anti-gay.

"It clearly indicates that everything is not rosy for gay people. There are gay people who are bullied at school, who are afraid to come out and be openly gay.

"It's unbelievable that it happened on the exact day of a milestone for gay people in Ireland. Shame on the people who did it.

"It's good to see that people are very clearly disgusted and upset by the vandalism, but people need to reflect on how this still exists."

Responding on Facebook, drag queen Panti Bliss, AKA Rory O'Neill, said it's a interesting to note the incident took place when a gay man is likely to become the next Taoiseach.

"On the day that The George (Ireland's oldest gay bar) was covered in hate graffiti, it's interesting to note that our new Prime Minister is probably going to be an out gay man," the Pantibar co-founder wrote.

"That would have been unthinkable only a few years ago, and I think the latter is more indicative of where Ireland is now, than the former."

Dublin councillor Gary Gannon blasted the "coward's" attack on the popular nightspot.

"‪The LGBTQ community have contributed so much to our Republic. I am forever grateful‬ to each one of you for staring down those hateful people who offer nothing."

Independent.ie have contacted The George for comment.

Readers affected by homophobia can contact the Gay Switchboard on 01 872 1055.

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