Northern Ireland

Italian student racially abused by children in Derry

Galliagh
Image caption Racist abuse forced the couple to leave their home

An Italian student living in Londonderry says his partner was forced to leave her home because of racial abuse

The man says the abuse included stone and egg throwing at her Galliagh home.

The student, who doesn't want to be named, says his partner is "heartbroken" leaving her home after nine years.

He says he is consumed with guilt because he feels responsible for her being targeted.

He said: "The age range was from about eight, nine years of age up to 18, 20.

"It included three girls. Their lingo was really offensive and vulgar. It went on for one year, singing songs in the street with me as the subject. I let them go for a while but then it led to stone throwing at the windows, water balloons at the door and at the walls, and eggs at the windows.

"At that stage I called the police which was very upsetting for my girlfriend, i called them but they can't really do anything but go and talk to people and try and make them think they can do better."

Depression

The man said that although his girlfriend didn't want to leave her Rosnagalliagh home, there was a measure of relief that they were putting the abuse behind them.

"The day she actually realised she was leaving was easier. The days and weeks and months she had been listening to me, she had been witnessing this happening to me, I was actually in the place early morning preparing breakfast and then sitting down with my books and I was able to hear when this group of children were flowing out into the streets. Also during the night they were playing with my vehicle which was left in need of repair."

The student said the ongoing abuse had a longer lasting effect on him.

"I was seriously depressed myself at a certain stage. I was actually afraid of leaving the place. For months I closed myself off, whenever I was there I was just in the house. I was literally afraid to go out, even for a walk, even on a nice sunny day, keeping the windows shut, I was scared.

"But when my partner had taken the decision to leave I was very upset because I felt very guilty. She had this beautiful welcoming house but she had to leave everything behind because there was no way to stop these people pestering me."