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Garda Commissioner Calls For Introduction Of Hate Crime Laws

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06:36 18 Oct 2019


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The Garda Commissioner has said it would be “useful” if the Government introduced new hate crime laws.

Drew Harris made the call as a Gardaí investigate a suspected homophobic attack on a man in the north of the city earlier this week.

Marc Power has said he was lured to a carpark in Coolock on Tuesday by someone using a fake profile on Grindr.

When he arrived he said he was attacked by a group of teenagers with weapons.

In a Facebook post, he said: “They tried to kill me with these weapons. They were trying to hit me on the head with hammers.”

Mr Power was taken to Beaumont Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and Gardaí are now investigating the attack as a hate crime.

This afternoon, Commissioner Harris said he would welcome the introduction of specific hate crime legislation.

"Legislation which would back up a criminal justice response would obviously be useful,” he said.

"At the same time, these are serious matters - subject to investigation, and are well covered by criminal justice legislation.

"We will use those effectively in the meantime, but I know the Government is considering specific hate-type legislation."

He added: "It would be welcome in terms of it identifying that hate crime often has a disproportionate impact on the victim, and therefore that a criminal justice response overall recognises that."

He said the attack on Mr Power is being investigated as a hate crime.

"It is receiving the necessary investigation,” he said. “We hope then to be able to report people to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a criminal justice outcome."

Gardaí recently introduced a new working definition of a hate crime as part of its Diversity and Integration Strategy.

The definition reads: "Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to, in whole or in part, be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on actual or perceived age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender."


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