Josh Dunne: Tributes from heartbroken family and friends flood in after talented young footballer stabbed to death in row over bike

Published date28 January 2021
Josh Dunne, 16, died from his injuries after a violent brawl on Tuesday night at East Wall in Dublin's north inner-city.

As Gardai mounted a major investigation into his death, his devastated brother paid an emotional tribute to him last night.

"I love you forever little brother my little/big brother, I'll always love you." Dean Dunne said.

Josh, who was from Ballymun in north Dublin, was stabbed in the confrontation at around 9.20pm on Tuesday.

The teenager, who played for Bohemians Under 17s, was stabbed at least once and was rushed to the Mater Hospital – but lost his fight for life at round 10pm.

It is understood Gardai now believe they know who carried out the double stabbing – and are set to move against him as early as today.

"There is a very strong line of inquiry that is being followed," a source said last night.

Sources say gardai believe the incident started when a man tried to steal a cycle from a foreign fast food delivery worker – but that Josh was not involved in that incident.

It's understood a man in his 20s was confronted for trying to steal the delivery worker's bike – and the two men started fighting each other.

But then other delivery workers who were in the area saw what was happening and jumped in to support their pal.

The alleged bicycle thief was being badly beaten – and that is when Josh and other kids intervened.

"One of the men in the fight then took out a knife and started attacking people.

"He hit two teenagers and one of them was Josh," the source said.

Shortly after the incident a 23-year-old man who was being beaten at the start of the incident also went to the Mater Hospital for treatment – but he had not been stabbed and was not seriously injured.

Another teenager was also badly injured in the incident and he was still in hospital last night – but is expected to recover.

A friend, who was leaving flowers at the scene yesterday, told the Irish Mirror: "Josh was the nicest lad you could ever meet.

"He was such a caring fella, loved football and was always great craic.

"I just can't believe he's been taken away from us, it doesn't seem real. He's a hero for what he did."

Gardai have launched a murder probe and have urged witnesses or anyone in the area at the time of the incident to come forward.

They are believed to be following a definite line of inquiry.

Josh played soccer for League of Ireland club Bohemians' underage programme with St Kevin's Boys.

He was described as a skilful player who had a natural gift for the...

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