The parents of a 15-year-old stabbed to death in Tyrrelstown, west Dublin, have condemned his murder as a racially motivated killing as gardaí last night continued to question two brothers in relation to the fatal knife attack.
Toyosi Shitta Bey (15), from Mount Eustace in Tyrrellstown but originally from Nigeria, was fatally stabbed in the heart as he walked through his estate towards home with a group of friends at 8pm on Friday night.
"They killed my son because he was black. God has taken him from me but in my dreams I can see my son," his mother Segun Shitta Bey told the Sunday Tribune. "He never did anything to anyone. All he did was play football, that was his life. Is it a crime that he is black? My life is finished in Ireland. I regret ever coming here."
Toyosi was one of six children and has lived in Ireland since he was five years old with his siblings, his mother, and father Bola Shitta Bey. He was a talented footballer and played for Shelbourne football club under 15s.
Yesterday, at their home in Tyrellstown, his family expressed their anguish and deep sense of loss over the teenager's murder. "Does black mean nothing to some people? Why anyone would hurt my son? This time yesterday he was alive and now we can never be the same again," his mother said.
A senior garda source said they were still trying to establish a motive but they were aware of the allegations of racism. Specialist officers from the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office are assisting local detectives.
Toyosi had been to a local swimming pool in Blanchardstown with friends on Friday evening. Afterwards, he was walking home with his friends in the Mount Eustace estate in Tyrellstown. He was in the company of two other male teenagers originally from Nigeria, two teenage boys originally from the Congo and two Irish teenage girls.
Two Irish brothers, aged 23 and 38, were standing on the street outside their home in The Boulevard, Mount Eustace estate. They were living in Tyrellstown but were originally from Dublin's south inner city. One of the teenage girls asked one of the brothers for a cigarette.
Both men then began to abuse Toyosi and his friends about the colour of their skin and called them "niggers" several times, according to a local source. A brief altercation ensued before Toyosi and his friends walked away.
But the two brothers then went into their house and got a knife. Both men had been drinking, according to a garda source. They then got into their car and drove after the teenagers.
When the men approached the teenagers again, Toyosi, who was known as 'Toy', told his friends not to get involved in a confrontation and to keep walking. But the man armed with the knife stabbed the teenager through the heart.
"It was a racist attack. He was a lovely, happy-go-lucky boy," said Marian Salami, who lives in the same housing estate and knew the teenager well. There is a sizable African community in the middle-class housing estate.
"At first, I was worried it was my brother, he is a good friend of his. Football was his life and he was very popular. His friends are very angry. I have tried to calm them."
Korede Salami, a good friend of Toyosi's who was not present when he was stabbed, said everyone was still in shock. "He always had a smile on his face. He always stuck up for people. I think he was trying to help his friend when he was stabbed," he said.