THE brutal attack on rugby player Evan Somers soon after he left a gay bar in Dublin at the weekend, coupled with the brutal double killings in Sligo, prompted echoes of a very dark period in Irish life.
Most Irish people thought such homophobic attacks had been consigned to history, to 70s and 80s Ireland.
Older readers will recall the murder of Declan Flynn in 1982 in Dublin’s Fairview Park. His murder was seen by many as a catalyst for the gay rights campaign in Ireland. A campaign that culminated in a change to the law which had criminalised homosexuality in this country until 1993, and the legalisation of same sex marriage in 2015.
We clapped ourselves on the back so many times in the past two decades for our modern thinking and progressive laws. But, as the cowardly attack on Evan near the George bar last weekend proved, we still have a long way to go.