A man in his 50s was attacked in Dublin last night after he was lured to a date through a fake profile on a gay dating app.

He arranged through Grindr to meet someone whom he thought was another man at the Odeon Cinema on the Malahide Road in Coolock at around 10.30pm.

However, when the man arrived, four young men attacked him with weapons and damaged his car.

The man was treated in Beaumont Hospital.

He posted pictures of his injuries on social media and said a group of teenage boys "were trying to hit me on the head with hammers".

The victim has described it as a "premeditated homophobic attack".

Gardaí are investigating if the attack was orchestrated as a hate crime and are checking CCTV footage from the cinema and surrounding area.

They are asking witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at Coolock Garda Station on 01 6664200.

The number of hate crimes increased from 323 in 2017 to 367 last year. There have been 307 incidents so far this year.

Gardaí say they recognise that hate crime is under-reported but believe the introduction of a definition of hate crime along with other initiatives will encourage more people to come forward.