herald

Sunday 24 February 2019

Courtney to report gaybashing attack

RTE star Brendan Courtney has said he will report the violent gaybashing attack on him to gardai.

The Off The Rails presenter, who is sporting a black eye, was assaulted at the weekend because of his sexuality.

And he explained that because it all happened so quickly, he didn't have time to report the incident to police, but will be filing a formal complaint this week.

He revealed that after a night out last week, a young man in his 20s ran up to him, yelled "queer" then punched him before running off. "I was walking home on George's Street with a group of friends after a club night in Andrews Lane," he explained. "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 think he was probably motivated as much by the fact I'm on television as the fact I'm gay, because there were loads of gay people there at that time."

And the brave presenter added: "Be strong, stand tall, mince and kiss whoever you want."

He put on a brave face at Saturday night's IFTAs -- less than 24 hours after the attack.

"I'm very lucky that this has been my first brush with anything like this but it isn't uncommon," he said.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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