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nowhere to go Family stage sit-in at council offices after racist attacks on their Tallaght home

'We can't go back to our home and we can't stay in the church so now we have nowhere else to live'

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Emmanuel at the council's offices today.

Emmanuel at the council's offices today.

Emmanuel at the council's offices today.

A dad and his four children who were forced out of their Tallaght home because of ongoing racist attacks has said he cannot go back to the council house for fear of their lives. 

Emmanuel Chris Enoch and his family were forced to flee their council house in Dromcarra in January when attackers armed with a knife and using a hammer smashed open the door. His family escaped without serious injury and took refuge in a local church.

However, they have since been asked to vacate the church and are now staging a sit-in at South Dublin County Council’s offices as they say they have nowhere else to go.

Emmanuel explained that the most recent incident followed years of serious attacks on this family, that saw his children having stones thrown at them, racist graffiti daubed on the walls and the family car being set on fire.

However, the incident in January was the most dangerous.

"These attacks have been going on for years but that night in January was the most frightening," Emmanuel said.

"It was about 8.45 that evening and I saw a young man by the door. He was looking in and sometimes we have people coming to do a delivery so I went to open the door.

"The moment I opened the door I saw a knife coming at my head. I tried to push the door closed but I didn’t realise there were other guys taking position behind the car.

"The moment the door was a little bit open they came at it with a hammer.

"I was screaming for help and my kids came down and we were all trying to push the door closed."

Emmanuel said their ordeal lasted for more than 20 minutes before the gardai arrived.

The assailants fled and later, when the council arrived, they boarded up the house.

“I asked the council where are you going to take us, because we can’t stay here," Emmanuel added.

"They said they would get back to me but it was one phone call after another. The following night we left to stay in the church.

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"This has been an ongoing thing," he added. "In July last year the car was set on fire in front of the house. Each of my kids have had stones thrown at them.

"Racist slogans are painted on the walls telling us to get out, we're not wanted here.”

“We are at the council offices now because we have nowhere else to go,” Emmanuel added.

“We stayed in a church for the last 35 days but now the landlord has asked us to leave because he says it is not safe to stay there.

"We can't go back to our home and we can't stay in the church so now we have nowhere else to live.

"It’s a very bad situation. I have four children here with me, 17, 16 and the twins are 12. They who are supposed to be in school but they are feeling unwell. They’re psychological and emotionally traumatised.”

According to Emmanuel, the council has rejected an appeal for an urgent transfer to another house on the grounds that they cannot safely return to their home.

“But how can you ask us to go back to a place where we nearly died,” Emmanuel asked.

"That is the most unreasonable thing I have ever heard.

“It’s not like it was just one thing that happened. It was continuous. So to say the only option is for us to go back there is, for me, like asking for us to go and die.

"I think the system has lost it. I feel that they think the house is more important than our lives. It is unacceptable."

Sundayworld.com has asked South Dublin County Council for a comment

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