An attack on a man in Dublin earlier this week is being treated by gardaí as a hate crime.

The victim, who is in his 50s, was lured to the scene through a fake profile on a gay dating site.

He had arranged through the 'Grindr' app to meet what he thought was another man at the Odeon Cinema on the Malahide Road at around 10.30pm on Tuesday 15 October.

When he arrived, he discovered he had been lured by a false profile, and was attacked by four young men with weapons.

The man posted pictures of his injuries on social media, and said a group of teenage boys tried to hit him on the head with hammers.

He described it as a "premeditated homophobic attack", and was treated in Beaumont Hospital for injuries to his face and hands.

Gardaí at Coolock are now treating the attack as a hate crime, and are examining CCTV footage from the cinema and the surrounding area.

They are also appealing for witnesses, or anyone with information, to contact them at Coolock Garda Station on 01 666 4200.

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

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