Anger after homophobic attacks after Newry Pride event

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Monday, September 5th, 2016
Community, News
There was widespread anger after what local politicians have described as a ‘homophobic attack’ in Newry on Saturday night. pride14According to the Pride in Newry Facebook page, five Pride committee members were involved and savagely beaten in a vicious attack in Newry on Saturday night. The post stated, “Our thanks go to the staff and security of Cobbles Newry for phoning the police and the ambulance and for providing CCTV evidence to the authorities. Our thoughts are with those who where injured and their friends and family. I am sure you will join with us in our outrage and wish those involved a speedy recovery. The status update added, “This type [of] incident thankfully is rare in Newry but serves as a reminder of the divisions and inequality that still exists in our society. Well done to all those who stood up and marched for equality on Saturday. Love will always overcome hate.” Reacting to the news, Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon said that the attack was a bitter end to what was a fantastic day. “The homophobic attack on Saturday was shocking and I condemn it outright. Those who attended Pride had a fantastic day at the march and at the Pride Ball so it is shocking to hear that five committee members suffered a horrific attack. Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw said she was appalled at the attacks. The South Belfast MLA, who attended Saturday’s parade as part of the Alliance delegation, stated, “I and everyone else who participated in Saturday’s parade had a superb day during the event and it was great to see so many people take to the streets of Newry in order to celebrate Pride. “So it was appalling to hear the contrast of several of the organisers being both verbally abused and physically attacked in what appears to be homophobic assaults. She added, “My thoughts are with those who were injured in this attack and their loved ones. It is outrageous that people believe such attacks are justified purely because of someone’s sexuality. The thugs offer nothing to our society. If anyone has information on these incidents, I urge them to contact the police immediately.”
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September 2016SDLP Armagh Councillor Pete Byrne also spoke of his disgust. “The very essence of Pride is that everyone should be able to hold their head high and be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their sexual orientation. “Those who committed this heinous crime will not win. Our community has stood strongly together to face down bigots before and we stand together again now. Our resolve will not be diminished by cowardly thugs. “This once again underscores the urgent need for a robust sexual orientation strategy that challenges homophobic behaviour and supports those who suffer as a result. The LGBT community cannot continue to wait on dawdling Executive Ministers while people are being attacked in the street,” he added.
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