Northern Ireland news

Romanian woman tells of living in 'terrifying fear' after year of repeated attacks on Co Armagh family home

Tina Dimache said in the latest attack, a crowd of around 20 youths gathered outside her Portadown home

A ROMANIAN woman has told of living in fear after suffering a year of repeated attacks on her family home in Co Armagh.

Mother-of-two Tina Dimache said in the latest attack, a crowd of around 20 youths gathered outside her home in the Ballyoran area of Portadown and threw objects at the property.

She was in the house with her two young children when the attack happened on Saturday at around 8pm.

"I was lying on the carpet playing with the baby when I heard a loud noise and thought this is them coming again," she said.

"I didn't want to go outside, I could hear them swearing and shouting.

"My daughter was upstairs in her room and I ran up to her, she was crying, 'mummy, are they coming back again'.

"I looked out the window and there was about 20 of them, they were shouting b*****d and scum, they weren't afraid. They just looked up at me as I was standing holding my baby, they weren't scared.

"I was terrified, I needed to think about my kids so I phoned the police."

Ms Dimache, who lives with her husband and children after moving to Northern Ireland from Romania in 2016, said she now intends to leave the area.

"It's been going on for a year, sometimes they stop for a while but you never know when they are going to come back," she said.

"They throw cans, bottles, stones - you never know what will be next or who is behind it.

"I will move, I just need to be somewhere safe, they won't stop and we are living in terrifying fear."

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Duffy said the family "just want to be left alone", adding that they "have the backing of the local community".

"This racist attack is to be condemned in the strongest terms," he said.

"I have spoken to the family and assured them their neighbours and local community stand with them.

"Racism has no place in this community and I would appeal to anyone with information about this attack to bring it to the police."

Police said the family have been "repeatedly targeted by a group of youths" and they were treating the attack as a hate crime.

"These youths have taken it upon themselves to target residents of the community in an attack on their home, a family who have done nothing to warrant any type of trouble, targeted simply because of their race and nationality," a PSNI spokeswoman said.

"Some of these youths involved may be on the periphery of the incident but there is a small element of the others intent on making life unbearable for families in Portadown who come here to work and seek a better life.

"No-one has the right to decree where someone should live based on their race or religion - this is hate crime."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news