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  • Southside

You’ve got hate mail

Monday, 4th December, 2017 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
You’ve got hate mail

Cllr Francis Timmons with the envelope containing the offensive letter which he has passed on to the gardai for investigation.

You’ve got hate mail

Cllr Francis Timmons with the envelope containing the offensive letter which he has passed on to the gardai for investigation.

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A SOUTHSIDE councillor has expressed his shock and disgust after he received another sick homophobic letter in the post.

Cllr Francis Timmons, an Independent councillor in Clondalkin, has handed the matter over to gardaí who are investigating after the vile letter arrived at his house.

It is the second time in less than six months that the councillor, who made history recently by marrying his partner in Dublin’s Freemasons’ Hall, has received such abuse. ‘’I received what I consider to be another homophobic letter in the post, but this time the person has their address and name on it,” he revealed. “This is another homophobic slur. We are not sure if both letters sent to me are related but this is something the gardaí will look at.

“I have handed both the envelope and the letter over to the gardaí in Clondalkin.

“It is awful that such small mindlessness still exists,” he added.

“The person who sent this needs to be aware of its offensive connotations and that homophobic behaviour is not acceptable in our inclusive and progressive country. There is no place for this hurtful behaviour.”

Cllr Timmons told of his happiness at marrying his partner recently.

 ‘’I recently married my partner of nearly 19 years and we live in very accepting community,” he added.

“The person who wrote the letter apparently lives outside the Clondalkin area, and must be made aware that it not acceptable to post this type of letter to anyone.

“Myself and my partner condemn homophobia and transphobia and we both feel that this had to be reported to the guards as it’s totally unacceptable behaviour that is both nasty and vile. ‘’

Cllr Timmons added that homophobic letters like this can have an “awful effect” on someone’s mental health.

“I again call for hate legislation to be enacted,” he declared.

In July, Cllr Timmons revealed how he opened a similar letter that had been sent to his home. Inside was a picture of Pope Benedict, a letter about World Family Day and a letter purportedly from Pope Francis.

Cllr Timmons said that the letter, coming so soon after Dublin’s Pride festival, was “horrible”.

“As an elected politician, I have grown used to having to accept certain backlashes but my partner is not in public life and was very distressed about this attack,” he said at the time.

“I respect the rights of any person to practice the religion of their choosing, but sending Catholic-based literature like this in a vile addressed envelope is not with keeping with any ethos of acceptance and tolerance.

Speaking after the incident, he called for more action on hate crimes of all types.

 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here