Michael Staines
Michael Staines

13.37 30 Jul 2021


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A transgender woman who was the victim of a “completely unprovoked” attack is calling for hate crime laws to be enacted as soon as possible.

Saoirse Mackin was attacked by three people while out walking near her home on Tuesday.

The Chair of the Cork East branch of the Social Democrats said the attack, which “wasn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last’, illustrates the ongoing need for the Pride festival.

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On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, she described what happened.

'This is why we need Pride' - Transgender woman attacked near Cork home

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

“We decided to just go for a walk in the evening,” she said. “It was only 9pm so it was still very bright outside.

“We were just walking out our door - a little bit down the street, not far - and next thing is we could hear these shouts behind us.

“I turned around and just as I went to turn around, I got a hit by a drinks can.

“The can was open so the intention was that I would be splashed by the drinks. Suddenly then a few more started coming in, all aimed at me very clearly.

“Most of them thankfully either hit me in the side or didn’t hit me at all but there was one or two that were quite sore because they got me by the metal at the top or whatever so yeah, I suddenly started getting pelted with cans and they were all open so the intention was, I would not just get hit but also get splashed with the cans as well.”

She said she tweeted about the attack to highlight the ongoing need for Pride.

“As a trans person, and a lot of my friends who are also LGBT would understand what it is like, to hear all the time about how we have equal rights now and why do we need to have Pride and why do we still need to do all this,” she said.

“The thing is that we might be a little bit safer legally but things still aren’t perfect and every law isn’t going to fix every problem either.

“So, there are always going to be people who will discriminate against an LGBT+ person or who will attack someone and it is reasons like that that we still need to be able to speak out about it and have things like Pride.

Saoirse Mackin Saoirse Mackin

“A big portion of that is us being able to celebrate ourselves but it also helps with equality as well and that is still really important – Pride is still very, very important because of instances like this.

“This isn’t the first time I have experienced something and it won’t be the last.”

She said she has dealt with similar things in the past but noted that there are, “a lot of people who aren’t able to deal with things like that and would find it an awful lot more difficult than I did.”

“I am quite used to receiving some form of transphobia on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

“Another time I was just in the city centre a few months ago and somebody very intentionally went out of their way to hit me into the side for absolutely no reason.

“I would get something verbal maybe every couple of days but I definitely know some people who would have physical incidents a lot more often and that is a real problem.

“There is definitely till a huge problem at the moment with transphobia which a lot of people don’t see unless you are on the receiving end of it.

“For me, before I came out as trans, I never saw any transphobia. I didn’t really realise how common it still is. So, until you are actually experiencing it, you don’t actually realise how common it still is for a lot of trans people.”

Dublin LGBTQ Pride Manager Eddie Mc Guinness holds the Rainbow and Trans Flag, 23-08-2018. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews Dublin LGBTQ Pride Manager Eddie Mc Guinness holds the Rainbow and Trans Flag, 23-08-2018. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

She said hate crime legislation will be “really important to ensure we combat hate crimes like this.”

“It is important that we go down that route,” she said. “Other countries have done fantastic jobs with hate crime legislation including Canada and we really need to start looking to enact that legislation here in Ireland as well.”

You can listen back here:

'This is why we need Pride' - Transgender woman attacked near Cork home

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    


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