It is believed two men who were attacked in Londonderry at the weekend were targeted because they are gay.

The men, aged 22 and 38, were assaulted at Shipquay Street around 2am on Saturday. They suffered cuts and bruises to their faces and were left extremely shaken by their ordeal.

Police say initial enquiries suggest that this was a homophobic hate crime.

They say that further details still have to be established and that enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

Police are appealing for anyone with any information to contact them.

David McCartney, manager of the Rainbow Project in Derry, has said it is “shocking” to encounter such hate crimes.

“One incident is too many. Overall the picture has improved over the last 5 years. We’ve taken it from almost treble figures to single figures consistently.

“But one is one too many and it’s going to be a community response which will deal with this problem long-term.”

Sinn Fein councilor Patricia Logue has condemned the attack: “The message must go out loud and clear that such sickening homophobic attacks have no place in Derry.

“Everyone regardless of class, creed, colour, nationality or sexuality have the right to live their lives with full dignity and in peace.”

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan branded the attack as “sickening”.

“As a community we need to show our solidarity with those who suffer this awful prejudice. And we need to show those who attack them that it is they who are in the tiny minority in this society.”

Source: UTV and Copyright © UTV News

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