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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Gay man bitten in attack
Rainbow flag
There have been a number of homophobic attacks in the city
A support group for gay people in Londonderry has warned that it is only a matter of time before someone is killed in a homophobic attack.

Sean Morrin from the Rainbow Project said homophobic attacks in Derry were becoming increasingly vicious.

He was speaking after a gay man was attacked and bitten in the face outside a chip shop in the Waterside area on Sunday evening.

He was taken to hospital where he received five stitches to his face.

A 25-year-old man was later arrested and released, pending police reports.

"The attacks have become much more ferocious," Mr Morrin said.

"There are no boundaries whatsoever. My fear is that it will not be long until someone is murdered in these situations."

In a period of seven weeks in April/May 2004, there were eight homophobic attacks in the Foyle area.

There have been 17 homophobic incidents in the Foyle area this year. A police spokesman said that figure equalled the total number of attacks for the previous year.

In March, Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde said the PSNI would crack down on rising levels of racial and homophobic attacks.

It was announced by the Policing Board that such incidents were to be tackled as part of a 774m strategy for running the PSNI over 12 months.

The number of racist and homophobic incidents is also being monitored.

The Rainbow Project organisation addresses the physical, mental and emotional health of gay and bisexual men in Northern Ireland.

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08 Mar 04  |  Northern Ireland
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29 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland

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