Family forced to leave home and sleep on floor in church
A TALLAGHT man and his family have been forced to flee their home and sleep on the floor in a church after a near death ‘racially motivated’ attack has left them fearing for their lives.
On January 12, Emmanuel Aigboboh’s home was allegedly attacked by eight men yielding knives who attempted to break the front door down in an attack he says was racially motivated.
Emmanuel, who is originally from Nigeria, had been living in Tallaght with his wife and four children up until the attack.
“I was at home at about 8.45pm and I saw a young man standing at the door knocking. Sometimes people are delivering or looking for an address, so I went to the door to open and just as I was going to open it, I saw a knife coming through towards my head,” Emmanuel told The Echo.
“I had to dodge the knife and try to slam the door back and I saw that there were seven other guys in position on the premises. I tried to close the door and I began shouting for help.”
Speaking on the Joe Duffy show, Emmanuel’s son, Sean Aigboboh, said that he and his brother were upstairs doing homework when he was alerted by his father’s screams.
“We heard an aggressive knock and we started going down and we heard our dad shouting to me and my brother to go down to help our dad to push the door,” he told Joe Duffy. “My dad was calling for help and nobody was coming.
“We were pushing the door for what felt like hours.”
Emmanuel and his two sons were able to keep the door shut before Gardai arrived and the men fled the scene.
“I could not sleep that night because of the shock and the trauma, and my two girls had to come into my room – they were traumatised,” said Emmanuel.
The house was sealed by South Dublin County Council after the attack, but when Emmanuel got the call that he and his family could go back the following Tuesday, he refused due to concerns about their safety.
Emmanuel, who works in Peamount Hospital, his four children and his wife who works in Tallaght University Hospital are now sleeping on mattresses on the floor of Emmanuel’s office in a church where he is the pastor.
According to Emmanuel, he has been the victim of these racially motivated attacks on numerous occasions, having had his car set alight, racial slurs drawn on the walls of the house and has been burglarised.
Emmanuel’s children have also experienced racial abuse, saying that they are terrified and intimidated to play in the front or back garden and have been called racial slurs.
“The only way I feel we respond to issues in this country is when human life is taken,” said Emmanuel.
“Are we becoming a society that has no value for life regardless of their background or race?”
When contacted by The Echo and asked what happens if a family are forced to leave a home due to safety concerns, South Dublin County Council said: “If you are a Tenant and need to move from your current home you can apply for a transfer to alternative accommodation.
“Transfers on the grounds of anti-social behavior are investigated and are only considered where a Garda Superintendent has stated that there is a risk to personal safety and an urgent need to relocate the tenant(s).
“If anyone feels threatened or have concerns about their safety, they should always in the first instance report incidents of anti-social behaviour to An Garda Síochána.”