Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Death fire father 'has nobody now'

Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar's family died in a house fire at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester.
Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar's family died in a house fire at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester.

A grieving neurosurgeon whose family died in a suspected arson attack has told mourners at a funeral service that he is a bird without wings.

Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar led prayers for his wife Shehnila Taufiq, 47, and their three teenage children, Zainab, Bilal and Jamil in Dublin.

More than 1,000 people attended the janaza service at Warrenstown House in the Blanchardstown area of the city.

Eight people have been charged in connection with the deaths of the four family members, who died in the blaze at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester, on September 13.

It is feared the family's property was targeted by mistake in a revenge attack following a fatal assault in nearby Kent Street.

"This is a very sad occasion for me," said Dr Sattar, who works in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.

"You can say now I am bird without any wings. I have nobody with me now."

The Sattar family is highly respected within the Muslim community in Ireland. Mrs Sattar had brought their children to England to enable them to pursue Islamic studies.

Dr Sattar has credited his wife's vision for encouraging him to help set up Islamic community projects in Dublin.

The surgeon said he had been heartened by all the support he had received from across Ireland since the fire tragedy.

He thanked both medical colleagues and patients who had passed on their condolences.

"Thank you very much for all of you coming here this morning," he told mourners.

"It's cold and I appreciate it. I can see many of our Irish friends are here as well."

The doctor has revealed that it was the family's wish to return to Ireland once their children had completed their education in Britain.

After prayers the family members were buried in Newcastle cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

Dr Sattar is well regarded for his work as a neurosurgeon.

The bodies of his family were brought into Dublin on an overnight ferry after about 7,000 people gathered in Leicester's Spinney Hill Park to pay their respects on Thursday.

The surgeon has vowed to continue on his work for the Muslim community and help to cement links between people of Islamic faith in Ireland and others.

His daughter Zainab had planned to train to become a primary school teacher and Islamic religious teacher and to live and work in Ireland.

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