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Victim threatened after telling of story of anti-gay abuse

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FRIEND: Buzz O'Neill

FRIEND: Buzz O'Neill

FRIEND: Buzz O'Neill

A DUBLIN man has received threats after his story of receiving homophobic abuse in a convenience store queue went viral.

The man was called a "f****t" by another customer in a Spar outlet on Baggot Street and wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, which was subsequently shared by thousands of people.

A shop-assistant - who is referred to as 'Spar guy' in the post - refused to serve the bully.

The victim spoke to gay community website Outmost about the ordeal. Colm chose not to reveal his second name because of the backlash he received once the story went viral.

"I walked over to Spar to get some wine and cigarettes. I was just wearing shorts and a jumper... I did look a bit weird," Colm explained.

"A guy and a girl in front of me buying a bottle of wine. The guy turned to the girl and said, 'Look at that f****t in his shorts' and laughed in my face. I just looked away because I didn't want to make a scene.

"The guy who was working at the till said, 'Sorry I heard what you said, and I'm not going to serve you'."

The employee said, "You called him a f****t and that is not acceptable.'"

"The guy was asked to leave. The whole thing happened in about 8 to 10 seconds... But I was so impressed by the Spar guy and I thanked him and bought my stuff."

messages

Colm said that he received further abuse once he posted about the incident online.

"I have been getting messages from strangers saying that I was 'oversensitive', I 'brought it on myself', that I was 'making the story up'. Some were threatening violence and suggesting that I kill myself," he revealed.

Night-club promoter Buzz O'Neill, a friend of the victim, said that despite some of the negative responses, he's glad Colm went public with his experience.

"With the Civil Marriage Equality Referendum coming it's important to highlight that incidents of homophobia are prevalent in Ireland," he said.

Spar stood by its employee's actions last night.

"Spar Ireland believes in respect for all people, regardless of their gender, nationality, colour, creed, or sexual orientation," a spokesman said.

SEE PAGE 15


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