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Firebomb attack family living in fear of virus as they wait for new home

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Innocent Teresa Doyle (centre) with her daughters Stephanie and Laura and her partner Noel Small

Innocent Teresa Doyle (centre) with her daughters Stephanie and Laura and her partner Noel Small

Innocent Teresa Doyle (centre) with her daughters Stephanie and Laura and her partner Noel Small

An innocent family whose house was targeted in a firebomb attack last month are living in cramped conditions with a child with serious health problems while trying to observe the Covid-19 restrictions.

Teresa Doyle's house in Annaly Gardens, Longford, was targeted on February 17 in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

She lived next door to a house which has previously been targeted by vandals in the midlands town.

The neighbouring property had its windows smashed only days before Ms Doyle's house had a firebomb thrown into the hall, setting the stairs on fire while her children were inside with her partner and his daughter.

Pregnant

Since the attack the house next door has also been torched.

"The end result is that we can't go back there. The risks are too high," Ms Doyle told the Herald.

Since the fire she has been living with her older daughter and her family in the town while waiting for accommodation to be provided by Longford County Council.

However, her daughter's house is overcrowded and, with the restrictions surrounding Covid-19 in place, they are finding the situation impossible.

"My daughter is pregnant and lives here with her husband and three children aged five, four, and nine months, and now there's me and my daughters," Ms Doyle said.

To make matters worse, her daughter Laura (13) has kidney failure and requires dialysis three times a week in a Dublin hospital. She is also diabetic and on medication which puts her in a Covid-19 risk category.

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Teresa Doyle’s home at Annaly Gardens was firebombed

Teresa Doyle’s home at Annaly Gardens was firebombed

Teresa Doyle’s home at Annaly Gardens was firebombed

"I'm sleeping on a mattress on the floor and, with the schools closed and everyone being advised to stay at home, it gets crowded and there can be tensions," said Ms Doyle.

The only reason she and Laura escaped the fire is because they had left the house earlier to go to Dublin for Laura's dialysis.

However, within 15 minutes her 15-year-old daughter Rachel rang her in a panic to say the house was on fire and nobody could get out.

Teresa's partner Noel Small gathered everyone in the house into a bedroom in a panic.

"Whoever did this broke the glass in the front door and threw a petrol bomb on to the stairs. They did not want us to be able to escape," he said.

Ladder

A neighbour came to the rescue with a ladder which Noel and the girls could climb down.

Ms Doyle is appealing for the council to find them a house as soon as possible.

"I've rung them and they say they will get back to me, but I get no call. I've been on to two councillors too, but nothing has happened," she said.

The council was approached for comment but none was forthcoming.