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Reports to gardaí about race attacks ‘were without success’, says family forced to move

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Christopher Enoch, his wife and four children were forced to flee their house in Dromcarra, Tallaght, in January. Picture by Sunday World

Christopher Enoch, his wife and four children were forced to flee their house in Dromcarra, Tallaght, in January. Picture by Sunday World

Christopher Enoch, his wife and four children were forced to flee their house in Dromcarra, Tallaght, in January. Picture by Sunday World

A family forced to leave their council home in Tallaght following ongoing racist attacks by local youths reported the litany of incidents to An Garda Síochána “without any success”, legal papers say.

Amaka Blessing Aigboboh, her husband Christopher Enoch and their four children said they were subjected to repeated attacks after they moved into the council house on Dromcarra Avenue in Tallaght in 2013.

The family settled a legal action with South Dublin County Council late last month for refusing to move the family to a safer house in another estate. According to legal records in that case, the family reported the incidents to An Garda Síochána but said none of the investigations was successful.

Ms Aigboboh said in June last year the family car was set on fire and destroyed outside their home. On other occasions, side mirrors were torn off, tyres were punctured with nails and windows broken, and windows in the house were also damaged. But Ms Aigboboh said it seemed pointless to report the damage to gardai because of the “lack of investigative success” with any of these incidents.

The most serious incident occurred in January when a group of youths tried to break into the property; one had a knife and another a hammer. The couple claimed that afterwards a council official advised the family to leave the house, but did not offer them alternative accommodation. The family moved into New Life Chapel in Tallaght, where Christopher Enoch worked as a pastor. Ms Aigboboh said the children had been traumatised, and if the family returned, they would be subjected to further attacks.

They issued legal proceedings after their formal application for a transfer was turned down by the local authority, citing a report from An Garda Síochána on the anti-social activity.

Gardaí had not responded at the time of going to press.

Lawyers for the family accused South Dublin County Council of breaching the family’s human rights by failing to provide them with alternative “safe housing”.

Gerard Cullen said: “The family was abandoned, without any humanitarian assistance, to apparently coerce them into changing their minds and complying with the council’s decision not to transfer them.

Furthermore, the council’s decision not to transfer the family was not characterised by the sort of anxious scrutiny that one might expect in circumstances where an ill mother, a father, and children were all left on the floor of a chapel for weeks.”

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