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Tallaght Roma girl's family victims of racist attacks

The windows at the front of the family’s home have had to be fortified because of people in the area throwing bricks at the house.

Image: woman image via Shutterstock

THE ROMA FAMILY at the centre of a controversy involving a little blonde girl, who was taken from their house in Tallaght, Dublin, this week, have previously been victims of racist attacks in their area, it has emerged.

DNA tests carried out today have proven that the 7-year-old is related to the family. She was taken into the care of the HSE on Monday after being removed from the house during a garda operation.

A source close to the family told TheJournal.ie that the family, who have been living at the house for five years, have been targeted several times.

Windows at the front of the house have been broken with bricks twice and the landlord has had to install fortified glass . It is understood that several verbal threats have also been made against the family over the last number of years.

“There’s a bad feeling in general in Tallaght towards the Roma community,” a source said. “The whole area is a melting pot of mixed cultures so there has been racial tension and that has led to violence and threats.”

The source said there have been a number of attacks on “other properties with people from the Roma community”.

“In some cases it’s broken windows and there’s been fire damage as well,” they said.

‘Witch hunt’

This new information comes in the wake of a warning from groups representing immigrants and the Roma community about a ‘witch hunt’ against them.

Pavee Point said today that there is a “real danger” that State action based solely on the basis of appearance could create the conditions for an increase in racism and discrimination against the Roma community living in this country.

It also emerged today that a two-year-old boy, who had been removed from the home of a Roma family in Athlone because of questions around his identity, has now been returned to them.

The head of the Immigrant Council Denise Charlton said the Government needs to make clear what procedures are in place in public services to stop racial profiling from happening.

“Any targeting of an individual community for such scrutiny, on the basis of unfounded perceptions that they are more likely than others to break the law, is wrong,” she said.

Commenting today on the incidents with the two children, Minister For Justice Alan Shatter said it is important that “no group or minority community is singled out for unwarranted attention, or, indeed, suspicion in relation to child protection issues.”

Read: DNA test proves girl taken from house in Tallaght is related to Roma family>

More: DNA tests being carried out on girl found living with Roma family>

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