A South African mother-of-two who has lived in Waterford for almost 15 years says her family is terrified following a series of racist attacks at her Ballybeg home.
Meriam Ajayi’s house has been targeted four times in recent weeks, with windows broken in the front and back of her house, while her car was destroyed in an arson attack five years ago. Last Friday, ‘black c**ts’ was graffitied several times across the front of the Ballybeg Square home she shares with her husband and their two sons, Yomi (14) and Kabelo (11).
Meriam (45), who volunteers with the Irish Wheelchair Association and is also a member of the local African choir, said the attacks are completely out of the blue, adding that her family gets along with everyone in their neighbourhood and did not want to cause any trouble.
“I can’t take it any more because this isn’t the first, the second or the third incident”, she commented. “There have been so many incidents and I have just had enough.”
Cllr John Hearne (SF), who visited Meriam in her home following last Friday’s attack, said she was a ‘lovely woman who is well got in the community’. “Now she’s now afraid in her own home and wants out and you couldn’t blame her.”
Cllr Hearne said the family are heartened by the show of support within the area. “Both of Meriam’s sons play football and Derek Hutchinson from the local soccer club Southend is planning a ‘Soccer against Racism’ match to show solidarity with this family and raise a few bob to help out. It’s great that people want to show their support, it means a lot.”