TV star back on feet after attack
'Off the Rails' host Brendan Courtney is beaten in homophobic assault, but puts on brave face for the IFTAs, says Niamh Horan
Published 13/02/2011 | 05:00
TV presenter Brendan Courtney has been left battered and bruised after a savage gay bashing attack during a night out in Dublin.
The Off the Rails star was walking down busy South Great George's Street when he was set upon by a stranger in an apparently random homophobic attack.
The attacker punched Courtney full force in the face while shouting "queer" at the terrified star. The fashion presenter was left with a nasty black eye from the incident.
Speaking this weekend the shaken stylist said it was disgraceful that such incidents were still happening in Dublin.
"I was walking home on George's Street with a group of friends after a club night in Andrews Lane. It was about two or three in the morning," he said.
"Some guy in his early 20s came up to me with a group of friends and punched me full force in the face. He ran off with his friends before we could get him.
"I felt very threatened. I have lived in Dublin city for a long time and I'd be very careful, but how do you prepare for someone running up to you out of nowhere and hitting you straight in the face?
"I haven't had time yet but I will be reporting it to the guards.
"It's absolutely disgraceful that in this day and age some people think it's still acceptable to behave in this way.
"I'm very lucky that this has been my first brush with anything like this but it isn't uncommon.
"The exact same thing happened to a friend of mine outside Jervis Street shopping centre last Wednesday. He was beaten up and they yelled at him calling him a queer. It's disgraceful.
"I'm grand though. I'm made of tough boots," he added.
The star later posted on his Facebook page: "Off to the IFTAs tonight with a black eye. Some eejit on George's Street called me a queer and punched me. I think he fancied me! This shit still happens! I'm totally grand but be careful ladies!"
Friend and model Pippa O'Connor offered her support saying: "How appalling! Rise above it."
The Off the Rails star was speaking at the Irish Film and television awards ceremony, which friends encouraged him to attend after his terrifying ordeal.
Also present on the night was Amy Huberman who scooped the award for Best Actress in Film and Television for her lead performance in the feature film Rewind.
The actress wife of Rugby star Brian O'Driscoll stole the show at the glittering awards ceremony at the Convention Centre in front of a host of Irish and international celebrities from the worlds of film and television.
Also present was Hollywood heart-throb Pierce Brosnan who picked up best actor in a supporting role for The Ghost. Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall lent her A-list star presence to the glamorous show. Up-and-coming actor Donal Gleeson won the best actor award for a lead role in television and also scooped the coveted rising star award.
Saoirse Ronan picked up best actress in a supporting role, while The Tudors was named the best television series. Martin McCann received the best actor gong for his performance in Swan Song.
The film As If I Am Not There scooped three awards on the night -- for best film, best director (Juanita Wilson), and best film script (Juanita Wilson again).