Family of slain 18-year-old Azzam Raguragui 'resting' their faith in Irish justice system

Azzam Raguragui

The family of slain 18-year-old Azzam Raguragui said they are “resting” their faith in the Irish justice system to hold the perpetrator of the attack to account.

Parents Abderrahmane Raguragui and Hajiba Elouaddaf expressed their gratitude for the “support” of the community.

Their statement came as a Muslim leader called on the State to take action to “stop killings” following the fatal stabbing of the Leaving Cert student in a south Dublin park last Friday.

The young man was with friends in Finsbury Park, Dundrum, just after 8pm when he was stabbed. He was on his way to Clonskeagh Mosque to break his fast and say prayers.

Gardaí are investigating suspicions there may have been a fight organised between two local teen gangs at the park and are trying to determine how Mr Raguragui became embroiled in it.

A juvenile, thought to be aged 16, subsequently went to a garda station and was spoken to by detectives, but has not yet been arrested.

Gardaí do not believe there was a racial motive behind the attack and said the rival gangs were thought to have come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

It is thought the incident may have been captured on mobile phone and gardaí want to gain access to them.

“If those images can be retrieved they could be better than any witness statement,” said a garda source.

In a statement issued through the Gardaí, parents, Abderrahmane Raguragui and Hajiba Elouaddaf said: “An Garda Síochána are leading in the investigation to uncover the truth behind our son Azzam Raguragui’s murder and we are resting our faith in the Irish Justice system to hold the perpetrator(s) to account.

“We are grateful for the community support we have received. At this critical time, we would like to request some space and privacy to allow us to grieve as a family.”

Ali Selim, spokesman for the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, which is commonly known as the Clonskeagh Mosque, said some 1,300 people attended a special gathering on Saturday night to show their support of the parents and offer prayers to their son.

“The community is shocked,” said Mr Selim.

Azzam was such a promising child and to be stabbed to death. I knew him. It's terrible. If you even look at his image you can see he's very nice, you would never get the impression he is a rough boy.

He added: “Something has to done to stop killings and the taking of life. No one can bring life back.”

He said boy's father spoke briefly to the congregation.

“He paid tribute to his son and how great his loss was,” Mr Selim said. “He advised all young Muslims to be good and avoid any areas that are not safe.”

Imam Hussein Halawa was present and spoke as did Sgt David McInerney, head of the Garda National Diversity Bureau.

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