Report on Memorial Public Rally for Toyosi Shitta-Bey

Date:

Over a 1500 people gathered at the Garden of Remembrance Saturday afternoon in a Rally organised and called by the Socialist party to remember the 15 year old, Toyosi Shitta-Bey who was stabbed to death in Tyrrelstown on good Friday. Today was an important day for people to stand up and show that there are people who say racism and thuggery have no place in the Ireland that we want. It was a day to remember a young inspirational life – this boys death may make us face up to the racism that exists in our society so that we deal with it, and extinguish it.

When I arrived from truck rang out with the sweetest gospel sounds of 'Oh Happy day'. Four or five singers dressed in long purple gowns perfumed the air with the sounds of that old hymn. It set the tone for what was a day where people were invited here to march in solidarity with the family of Toyosi, and to say that the vicious attack that robbed that young man of his life should never happen again. It has no place in the Ireland that we want. It should have no place in the future that we all want.

A cousin of Toyosi's spoke about what a great influence that he had on his family and friends. He was a player with Shelbourne's youth team and she read a poem which had envisioned him being picked by God for his team up in heaven where it was free of sponsorship, pay per view and diving. Rosanna from Residents Against Racism spoke about how the racism that was visible in this attack comes from the example and tactics from the top, the 'divide and rule' tactics employed by our Government or the way it treats asylum seekers into this Country.

Jack O'Connor – SIPTU president offered his condolences to the Shitta-Bey family, and all his friends and team-mates, and stated that the Ireland that he wanted was one where we all participated to make a better society.

The march was attended by Trade Unionists, Political groups, Community Groups, and football supporters from Bohemians,  and other league of Ireland teams.

The march swelled its ranks and more people joined in as it moved down O'Connell street towards the Dail. (Image: Boh's fans join the demonstration)

Boh's fans march against racism

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