Friday 26 April 2019

Footbridge name plan for victim of gay hate

The new Pedestrian Bridge at Fairview yesterday evening.
The new Pedestrian Bridge at Fairview yesterday evening.

CITY representatives are to decide whether to name a popular bridge after a Dublin man who died following a "gay bashing" over 30 years ago.

Independent councillor Damian O'Farrell has submitted a proposal which will see the revamped Fairview Park footbridge named after the late Declan Flynn (31).

He was beaten to death in the park on September 9, 1982, by five teenagers because he was homosexual.

The gang were responsible for a spate of attacks on gay men in previous weeks and it emerged that they used the park to target members of the gay community.

Mr Flynn, who was an Aer Rianta worker, was attacked with sticks and a large rock as he tried to flee. He had earlier been drinking with a friend in Beltons Pub in Donnycarney, minutes from his home.

He made his way into the park when the vicious attack took place. One of the men stole IR£4 from him.

The five male teenagers were all released on suspended manslaughter charges in 1983.

The killing sparked widespread condemnation and led to Ireland's first Gay Pride march.

Three decades on, city politicians will now decide on a proposal to name a footbridge adjacent to the park The Flynn Memorial Bridge.

Cllr O'Farrell said it would be a fitting tribute, adding: "Declan Flynn was a gay man when homosexuality was a crime. The gay community is now a major part of Dublin.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and naming Fairview footbridge after him will send a strong message that there is no place for racism and homophobia in our community."


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