‘Need to do better’“We’ve been waiting years for this legislation and I’m really disappointed and disheartened to hear that slip back in language from the department,” said Oisin O’Reilly, CEO of the Outhouse LGBTQ+ community centre in Dublin.”Months ago, Helen McEntee was talking about introducing the legislation within weeks. ‘As soon as possible’ sounds like it’s been pushed down the political agenda and the minister and her officials need to do better.”We met Mr O’Reilly as he met with police at Store Street station in the inner city.

The series of attacks has made many in the gay community nervous ahead of the showpiece Dublin Pride parade on 25 June.”I took over as CEO in Outhouse nine weeks ago, and in six of those weeks I’ve heard of violent assault against someone in the community,” Mr O’Reilly told us. “I can’t remember a time when it has been so prevalent, and I’ve worked in LGBT community all of my adult life.”Racism an issue tooIt’s not just those in the gay community calling for urgent action.

Sharans Kabra is from India, but has lived in the Dublin suburb of Lucan with his wife for four years.In that time, he’s experienced three serious incidents of racist abuse, including having stones thrown at him, being called “Ali Baba”, and being told “to go back home”.”My message to the minister would be: make this an inclusive society for everybody,” said Mr Kabra. “A hate crime law is an absolutely necessity everywhere in the world right now, including a place like Ireland, which I want to call my home.”The government promises the legislation, with its potential to act as a greater deterrent, is on the way.For now, those that need its protection the most, continue to wait for Ireland to get its long-promised hate.