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Dublin councillor's car and Christmas-themed window smashed in overnight attack

The upsetting attack comes a week after a video of a man shouting homophobic abuse outside Francis Timmons’s home was posted online.
Dec 12th 2017, 12:44 PM 32,958 60

A SOUTH DUBLIN county councillor has had the front window of his house and his car windscreen smashed in a vicious attack.

Independent Clondalkin councillor Francis Timmons, who lives with his partner of almost two decades, discovered that his property had been damaged yesterday morning at around 7.30am.

“My husband got up to go to work and when he went out to the hall he discovered glass all over the floor. Then, he realised that the front door window was smashed as well. Of course, then he went to the car and the car was smashed too,” Timmons told TheJournal.ie.

front window christmas The damaged front window of Councillor Francis Timmons' home Source: Francis Timmons

Timmons immediately reported the incident to An Garda Síochána.

“I was obviously very upset and very annoyed. I went from being upset to annoyed,” Timmons said.

“You just don’t expect something like this coming up to Christmas.”

The incident happened less than a week after a video, which the TheJournal.ie has seen, was posted online of a man outside Timmons’ home speaking directly to the camera using threatening and homophobic language.

The man used the C-word to describe Timmons and used homophobic language to describe Timmons’s relationship with his husband.

“A man can be gay but when a man tries to be a f**king woman it’s just f**king weird. You’ve got mental problems,” the man said.

Looking at the front window of Timmons’s home, which has been decorated with Christmas-themed teddy bears, the man said: “You want to live like a f**king child? You have no kids, you will never have kids. Get a f**king dog or a kitten.”

Timmons was made aware last Wednesday that the video was being circulated online. He hadn’t seen the video footage himself but immediately reported it to Clondalkin Garda Station. A few days later, a member of the local community sent the video to Timmons.

It remains unclear whether both incidents are linked.

front door The front door of the home was also vandalised during the attack Source: Francis Timmons

Other incidents

In July, Timmons had a homophobic letter and a photo of Pope Francis sent to his home.

The letter was addressed to “shit pushers den”. Inside was a letter of Pope Benedict, a letter about World Family Day and a letter from Pope Francis.

In light of the summer’s incident and the most recent incidents, Timmons is calling for hate legislation to be introduced in Ireland, which would combat hate crimes which target people specifically because of their race or sexual orientation.

“There’s currently very little you can do to charge people. It’s very hard because we don’t have hate legislation,” Timmons told TheJournal.ie. 

“I would give Ireland a legal route in terms of charging people for homophobic language, the same with racist language.

We live in a multicultural and diverse community and I don’t see how it’s acceptable for anybody to be targeted because of who they are.

car Francis Timmons' husband was unable to go to work yesterday morning after his car was damaged Source: Francis Timmons

Timmons told TheJournal.ie that he had been “inundated” with messages of support from family, friends and those in his community since yesterday morning’s attack.

He stressed that while he has been able to mentally cope with the attack, not everyone would be able to handle it.

“I’m a man in my 40s with a fairly thick skin,” Timmons said.

If this was sent to somebody that wasn’t able to cope with it, it could have a devastating effect leading to suicide or something very serious. It’s not acceptable to treat other human beings like that.

“In general, I think that majority of people realise you can’t, whether it’s the travelling community, whether is the migrant community, or the LGBT community,” he said.

“We’re all humans at the end of the day, we all have to live here.”

Gardaí have launched an investigation into yesterday’s incident.

Read: Councillor calls for action on hate crime after being sent homophobic letter

More: Calls for calm after baby boy, teen and young woman shot with pellets

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Hayley Halpin

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