A family who have been subjected to repeated racially-motivated attacks on their home have been forced to live in a church as they fear for their lives.
Emmanuel Aigboboh has said his children are “traumatised” following repeated attacks on his home, which he says are motivated by racism.
On January 12, Emmanuel said he was nearly killed when he opened his front door after noticing a silhouette outside. He said once he opened the door he was forced to dodge a knife with the person outside attempting to stab him in the head.
“If I did not dodge that knife I would be dead,” Emmanuel told the Irish Independent.
There were eight men armed with knives and wearing “balaclavas and ski masks” involved in the attack, Emmanuel’s son Seán told Joe Duffy on Liveline on Tuesday.
Seán said he and his brother helped his father keep the men out of the house before they ran away minutes before gardaí arrived on the scene.
After reporting the attack to gardaí and South Dublin County Council, the house was sealed by local authorities, pending an investigation, but no emergency accommodation was provided, Emmanuel said.
“I asked them, ‘where are we going to go now?’ But they just told me to find somewhere else to stay.
“They rang me on Tuesday to come as they said the house was ready again but I told them I will not go back there as my kids are traumatised by what we have gone through,” Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel, who is originally from Nigeria, his wife and Irish children David, Sean, Jane and Joanne slept in their car for two days before moving into a church in Dublin where Emmanuel serves as a pastor.
They go to friends' houses to shower and nuns from a local school are providing the family with occasional meals as they have no means to cook.
The Peamount Hospital employee said the latest attack is one of many and that his car was set alight outside his home in June 2021, their house has been burgled and racial slurs have been graffitied onto the walls of the house.
The children in the family have not gone out to play in the neighbourhood for the last six years as they felt intimidated and Emmanuel believes it will take someone being killed before the authorities resolve the situation.
“If I had died in the attack, I guarantee you that my family would have been given a new place to live straight away. My son asked me, ‘Dad, are you sure we are Irish?’ I said: ‘Yes, son, you have an Irish passport, you are Irish.’ He had to ask me because of the way we are being treated.
“The question I have is, after last week when the beautiful soul Ashling Murphy was killed, the gardaí said they would do whatever needs to be done to catch the person. My question is, do you have to lose someone before what needs to be corrected is corrected?
“Does somebody have to die for an issue to be addressed. We should not make life so cheap,” the pastor said.
Emmanuel said his family have never been involved in criminality and they just want a “peaceful life”.
“We want to live our lives and educate our children as best as possible. We are hard workers and never take welfare - I work in Peamount Hospital and my wife works in Tallaght Hospital.
“I am a pastor and am dedicated to trying to make people’s lives better. I have done a lot for the youth in the community and we should not be treated like this,” Emmanuel said.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, South Dublin County Council said it “does not comment on individual cases”.