Gay people scared to hold hands on Dublin streets, says TV presenter

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TV presenter Darren Kennedy has told how he and other gay people are reluctant to show affection in public due to a “rise in homophobia”.

It comes after a number of attacks in recent months, including an alleged assault on two women in Dublin last week.

Darren, 41, was verbally abused in the capital last year but swore he wouldn’t be
intimidated by enemies.

Read more: Lesbian couple allegedly attacked at Dublin bus stop

He said: “It’s important to call it out and not let these things go unchallenged. In this country, the majority thinks that because we had a referendum on marriage equality, homophobia is gone.

“But the problem is that there is a very small minority of people who are not on this page and think they have the right to verbally attack or insult people.

“And that’s something I won’t put up with. It’s about having the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Dubliner Darren, who splits his time between Ireland, London, Los Angeles and New York, recalled an incident where he was targeted.

He added: “I was on Camden Street and this group of guys yelled at me, ‘There’s the f****t of TV‘ and started laughing. I was dumbfounded.

Singleton Darren said the current climate has left him and others wary of showing affection, such as simply holding hands with a partner in public.

He added: “You sense the danger and that’s the terrible thing.

“Because as gay people growing up in Ireland you are aware of that.”

Darren was speaking as he launched the Bord Gais initiative Imagine a better way to make homes more energy efficient.

He said: “It’s an eye on the environment, but also an eye on your bank account, because you know the cost of energy has skyrocketed.”

Read more: ‘Homophobic’ gangs ‘prowl’ downtown streets looking for people to attack, TD says

Read more: Gardai launch investigation into assault on lesbian couple at Dublin bus stop

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