A migrant man who was living in a makeshift campsite in Ashtown, Dublin, for two months until an attack by a group of Irish men has said the incident left him with severe psychological scars.
On Saturday, January 28, a number of Irish men, with dogs and sticks, entered the makeshift camp in a wooded area of Ashtown and threatened the homeless migrants who were living there, allegedly assaulting two of them.
One of the migrant workers has now told theof the devastating psychological impact of the attack.
The man has been living in Ireland since 2006 and worked in retail for a decade before changing careers to IT. He is now a student trying to source emergency accommodation because rental prices are unaffordable.
He said being homeless makes you vulnerable and susceptible to violent attacks, something the men camping in Ashtown wanted to avoid.
“It was peaceful, nobody actually noticed us,” he said.
It was an interesting mix, he said, noting that the men living there were from Hungary, Croatia, Poland, India, and Portugal.
Once winter came and the trees surrounding the camp dropped their leaves, people began to notice they were living there and he believes the number of tents may have appeared “intimidating”, but that many were used for storage.
He now has been left without half of his possessions since abandoning the campsite following the attack.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that days before the attack, two men had come to the campsite saying there was no need to worry and they were there to “speak good” about them while taking videos of the area.
He told the men he did not feel safe because they were posting the footage on Facebook, but it was posted regardless.
“I flagged those posts on Facebook, Facebook took no action, and they went viral,” he said.
On January 28, the man, who has two sons in Ireland, said they were woken up to the “first raid” and were told to “get up” with one of the men swinging a bat at tents.
"I decided to run away and hide in one of the bushes; somebody followed me, but I was lucky enough to not be noticed,” he said.
After this, he gathered his important documents before the camp had a visit from a journalist from.
He said a different group of men arrived shortly afterwards.
“Those guys were bigger in numbers, they had sticks, baseball bats, and wearing masks," he said.
"I was far enough away to grab my bag and run away without them taking a photo of my face.
"He was shouting: ‘Look, they’re not even defending themselves’.”
Thejournalist returned shortly after the men had arrived and the homeless migrants were given 10 minutes to leave the site.
“She stopped the escalation,” he said.
The man said he and his former camp-mates are suffering from trauma following the incident.
“People have a very short temper around here, they are easily triggered, these people believe the propaganda," he said.
“I was taking radical moves to live in a tent, to avoid hostels. We didn’t want to live in town, we wanted to stay away from drugs and criminals.”