Friday 17 August 2018

Afghan teen in racial attack now wants to leave Ireland

Naqeeb and Fazal Ahmadzai in Rathfarnham, Dublin, with the teenage victim. Photo: Frank McGrath
Naqeeb and Fazal Ahmadzai in Rathfarnham, Dublin, with the teenage victim. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ryan Nugent

The teenage victim of a vicious racially motivated assault wants to return home to Afghanistan over fears it could happen again.

Three men are in prison following the attack on the now 15-year-old and two relatives, Naqib (19) and Fazal (21) Ahmadzai, in Ballinteer, Dublin.

Footage of the incident almost two years ago was recorded on Dublin Bus CCTV as well as on the phones of passengers on the bus.

Both Naqib and Fazal required hospital treatment following the attack - with Naqib deciding to leave Ireland due to the terrifying ordeal.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent, the father of the young boy said they could be attacked again.

He said his son has not recovered psychologically from the assault, while Naqib still gets regular headaches almost two years on from the horrific attack.

"He was very happy before this, going to cricket club, happy in school, getting good grades," he said. "Now he's always unhappy, always thinking it will happen again.

"He is always saying 'I have to go back home', but I told him to stay here and finish your studies, that it will not happen again. Still in his mind it can happen anytime," he added.

Naqib had only been living in Ireland a short time before the attack. He had been invited to move here by a brother who had been here almost four years at the time, citing a better standard of living, and a better education.

However, when deciding to move back to Afghanistan, he told relatives that "everything was the opposite" to what he expected.

"Finally he took the decision to go home," said the teen's father.

The boy's father said his mother was delighted that family members were moving to Dublin, but everything has since changed.

"My mother was very happy, everything was OK, she also heard everything was perfect here. She is also scared for us over here now," he added.

He said the support he has received from neighbours has been amazing since the incident. They have received gifts such as cinema tickets, with locals insisting that the attack is not a fair reflection on Irish people. "We are very happy with our neighbours," he said.

Christopher Connors (22), of Ballyogan Grove, Carrickmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder in Ballinteer on May 5, 2016 - receiving a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended.

Last December his brother John Connors (20), of the same address, and his cousin Joseph Connors (22), of Daltree Place, Ballycullen, Dublin, each received a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended from Judge Cormac Quinn. They pleaded guilty to the same offence.

CCTV footage, which was played in court, shows Christopher Connors striking with a beer bottle and throwing punches and a kick.

It also shows Joseph Connors aiming two kicks at a man who had been knocked to the ground, and John Connors knocking one of the men to the ground with a punch.

John Connors can then be seen knocking the child to the ground with a punch and kicking him on the ground.

Irish Independent

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