Racist motive suspected in firebombings

A Nigerian mother of five has said she is too scared to remain in her house after being subjected in the last two years to two firebomb attacks which she believes were racially motivated.

Gloria Fazaz, 42, has been in Ireland for 13 years and has been living in St Laurence’s Park in Drogheda, Co Louth, for the last two.

The latest attack, last week, came in the early hours of the morning as the family’s car was set on fire in the driveway of their home.

Devout Christian Gloria is convinced God saved her and her children Buky, Olamide, Lekan, Habib, and Day.

The family had to flee from the back of their house to escape the blaze as the heat from the burning Mazda 323 was too intense to allow them to exit the front door.

Gloria said she woke up around 3am and saw the blaze outside. “When I pulled the curtains to look out I saw my car on fire. I was in total shock, I just started screaming to wake the kids up as what I was really worried about was that the car would explode and the house would catch fire.

“When the kids came down we realised that the car was so close to the front door there was no way of getting out that way so we had to run out the back. I stood by the back door counting them out to make sure they were all safe.”

The first attack happened just over a year ago. There was no one in the house as the family were at a prayer vigil. “They burned my car out, but for all they knew the house could have been full.”

Drogheda gardaí have confirmed they are investigating the two arson attacks, which Gloria fears are racially motivated. “I am a peace- loving woman; the Bible says live in peace with your fellow man, and I try to follow that and bring my kids up the same way. I have been racking my brain to see if I have upset anyone and I have even questioned all my children but none of them can recall stepping on anyone’s toes.

“If we genuinely haven’t annoyed people, what other reason is there other than racism? Although there are bad people in all communities, so maybe it’s just vandalism, but why single my family out?” she asked.

“I want to tell whoever is behind this that I have had enough, they win. It is not safe for me and my family here. We’ve been lucky twice we might not be so lucky the next time, and that’s a risk I cannot take. It’s a council house and I like the area, but I will be looking for re-housing. I’m honestly too scared to stay here.”

One neighbour, appalled at the plight of the Fazaz family, said: “Gloria is a lovely lady, she just goes about her business and has a friendly word for everyone.

“The people who are doing this are just scumbags.”


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