Friday 22 September 2017

Anna Nolan: 'Why I stood up to vile homophobic abuse on a Dublin street'

Anna Nolan
Anna Nolan

Eimear Rabbitt

The Dubliner was walking home alone in the Kilmainham area on Monday night when she was shouted at and heckled by a group of male teenagers.

The former Big Brother star decided to confront the youths and was then subjected to homophobic abuse.

The Great Irish Bake Off host said the boys were picking on her because she was alone and vulnerable.

“I was walking home alone and four lads, aged about 14 or 15, started shouting at me,” Anna told the Herald.

“I decided I wasn’t going to stand for it. I wasn’t in the mood and I didn’t feel threatened so I knew that I was safe enough to confront them.

“I asked them why they would try to intimidate a woman like that and how would they feel if lads did that to their sister or mother?

Anna Nolan (centre) pictured on the Great Irish Bake-Off (Brian McEvoy)
Anna Nolan (centre) pictured on the Great Irish Bake-Off (Brian McEvoy)

“But when I went to walk away, they started shouting more abuse at me.

“I just kept going back, I went back and kept asking them why they would do this,” said the Rialto native.

“I said to them ‘you are making me feel nervous and uncomfortable and a little frightened. I wanted them to know this is not acceptable behaviour.

“I was focusing on the ringleader because he kept shouting every time I turned around.

“I said to the other boys, ‘Why are you hanging around with this idiot?’

“After four or five times, I think I got my message across and I felt enlightened,” Anna told the Herald.

“So many women just put their heads down and don’t say anything when lads are shouting at them and it’s so unfair.”

Anna said the reaction on social media has been “massive”.

“I got so many appreciative and ‘good on you’ messages from people. Some people told me I shouldn’t have confronted them but I am savvy enough and I know when it is smart to walk away.

“I just really wanted to get the message across and let these young lads know that this is not acceptable.”

Anna’s experience comes after a woman was punched in the face four times while on the way home from a night out last weekend.

Victoria Curtis was subjected to a homophobic attack after she spoke back to a man who told her and her friends to take off their clothes.

Victoria shared her story because she said she was “tired of people saying this kind of stuff doesn’t happen”.

The vicious attack happened on Dublin’s Camden Street at around 2am on Sunday.

Victoria explained how the man used abusive language and called her and her friends ‘feminist feckers’ and ‘fa***ts’ after they called him out on his comments.

“I voted Yes for marriage equality but I didn’t vote for that,” Victoria told Ryan Tubridy on his RTE radio show.

The man punched her four times in the face after she refused to shake his hand.

“This is constantly happening women,” she said.

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