A well-known Cork social media influencer was the victim of an alleged attack in Cork City last night, leaving him with a black eye.
Hair salon owner and influencer David Babington, known as ‘Material Boy’ on Instagram, described the horrifying event on his Instagram stories.
Mr Babington apologised to followers before removing his hand from his face, showcasing a dark-coloured swollen eye, as a result of last night’s beating.
Speaking to his 13.7k followers, he revealed the alleged attack occurred after leaving his friends, en route to the Imperial Hotel in the city.
He recalled passing a pub when, he said, a man in his 40s shouted homophobic slurs at him before engaging in an altercation.
Both men were arrested and detained in a Cork city garda station overnight as they were under the influence, Mr Babington said.
The openly gay social media influencer, said although this incident was common years ago, it is something he had never anticipated happening in Ireland today.
“To be a 43-year-old man and have to face this… to be gay-bashed at 43 in Cork City… is something I had never anticipated would have happened to me again,” he said.
Pointing to his bruised face, Mr Babington disputed claims of a ‘different Ireland’, stating: “This is the Ireland that we’re in”.
The men’s fashion expert, who often features in the popular Cork Weddings Magazine, became visibly emotional towards the end of the video.
Seemingly lost for words, Mr Babington expressed: “I feel completely numb.”
Ending the video, he said: “It’s not safe to be gay, clearly”.
‘Year of hate’
The incident comes as a report published this morning showed last year was the most violent year for LGBTQ+ people in Europe in a decade.
The report also highlighted a rise in transphobic speech has been identified in Ireland along with Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
The most recent statistics from An Garda Síochána show that, of 448 hate crimes and hate-related incidents in 2021, 15% were motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.
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