Family's shock at Belfast race attack

Published Thursday, 28 August 2014
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A Sudanese man, whose family’s home was attacked because of where they are from, has said the incident has shocked him because of the warm welcome they have received from their neighbours.

Windows were broken at two homes at Glenrosa Link, sometime around 2.30am on Thursday.

No one was injured in the incident, however, police have said the attack was racially motivated.

One of the families has lived in Belfast for the past two years while the other family was due to move into the property on Thursday.

Mohammed Idris has lived in Belfast with his partner and seven-year-old son for the past two years.

He said the noise of the windows being smashed in the early hours of the morning woke him from his sleep.

He told UTV: "We were terrified, we were shocked.

"The neighbours are very good people, the children all play with my son and they always say 'hi' to me in the street.

"This was not what we expected."

Mr Idris left his country because he did not feel safe and sought refuge first in Dublin in 2007, before moving to Belfast in 2012.

He said the attack came on the same day as his son's birthday.

He added: "Now my son does not want to go out and play in the street, this morning he said he would rather stay inside."

Mr Idris said he was determined not to be driven out of the area by the attack, while the other family said they were not sure if they wanted to live in the street.

We just want to live as normal people, we are just the same as everyone else.

Mohammed Idris

Neighbours of the families told UTV they were shocked and disgusted at the attack.

Belfast councillor Guy Spence said the community was rallying around and supporting the families.

The DUP representative said: "The community is angry and in shock.

"The family are well-liked in the area and well-respected and they were fitting in well.

"Their kids were going to the nearby Currie Primary School and in fact it was one youngster's birthday and many young people from the area were invited to the party.

"I visited with them and offered my support, as have others in the community, and we will be doing all we can to help them."

The attack is the latest in a spate of racist incidents in the city.

Police have said racially motivated attacks have increased right across Northern Ireland in the past year with the majority taking place in Belfast.

In response the PSNI has set up a dedicated information line for people to report suspected racist crimes.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the latest incident to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.

Anonymous information about crime can also be passed to police through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Abdulmajeed in Glasgow wrote (55 days ago):
Mr Idris has fled from his home country to save his life,seeking for a safe place to live in peace and safety. But it ended him up in unsafe earea,after seven lean years. Although he was telling me that his neighbours are very good and respectful. These racists atackers should be brought to justic sharply, while the earea council provide security to this earea arownd-the clock. Only the God can protect you and your family.
lucylou in belfast wrote (58 days ago):
Michael in Templepatrick==Don't know the answer to your question but here is another one to ponder====WHEN are the republican politicians ever going to deal with the daily and growing threat from republican dissidents==the planting of bombs=the shooting dead of people====the punishment shootings==the joy riding in their communities? It's a disgrace! People like you demonising ONE community when turning a blind eye to the behaviour of SOME in the other are the biggest stumbling block to progress in this place.
kev in dgn wrote (61 days ago):
it's not really cause there from a different country half of the people born and raised here wouldn't be welcome
Will in Belfast wrote (61 days ago):
To the racist knuckle dragging thugs leave these poor people alone, let people live in peace. I have to ask why are these poor people being housed in areas where there is known racist attacks?
ammers in belfast wrote (63 days ago):
These attacks are getting worse and shame on those thugs who are carrying out these attacks. The Court system in Northern Ireland really need to step up and come down very hard on people who are found guilty of these attacks. I am so sorry for the family and wish them all the best as these people carrying out these attacks only represent a small minority of our good communities.
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