Gardaí are looking to speak to a number of food delivery couriers in connection with a violent row which resulted in the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Josh Dunne on Tuesday night.
Sources said officers are following a line of inquiry in relation to the incident, which occurred after 9pm in the East Wall area of Dublin’s north east inner city.
Detectives are still trying to establish how Josh, from Ballymun, north Dublin, and a friend, also aged 16, became embroiled in a physical altercation between up to three couriers and another adult male.
Both teenagers suffered stab wounds during the incident, with Josh, receiving fatal injuries and his friend, serious injuries to his chest.
Gardaí believe that the tragedy was the culmination of a series of incidents, stemming from a suspected attempted theft of a bicycle by a male aged in his 20s.
A row developed between this male and a food delivery courier and it is thought that two other couriers came to their colleague’s assistance.
Gardaí believe a group of teenage boys and girls, including Josh and his friend, had arrived on East Wall Road at around 9.20pm after being earlier in the city centre.
Gardaí are trying to establish how the group of teenagers became involved in a fight between the male and up to three couriers.
“There was a violent interaction between the couriers and this male and the teenagers got involved and at some stage a blade was introduced and the two teens were stabbed,” said one source.
Gardaí are investigating if Josh and his friend were trying to break up the fight.
The 23-year-old male involved in the original incident subsequently presented himself to hospital where he was treated for serious injuries.
Garda sources said “certain lines of inquiry” were underway in relation to the matter.
They are looking to identify and speak to the couriers involved.
Once they get the green light from doctors, detectives will speak to the injured adult male and the injured juvenile.
Enormous sadness around East Wall today following the tragic death of young Josh Dunne last night.— Gary Gannon TD (@GaryGannonTD) January 27, 2021
Some of Josh’s friends have created a YouTube video in his memory which I’ve been asked to share.
R.I.P Josh Dunne https://t.co/Yo6pcYp9VR via @YouTube
Gardaí are also trying to locate other members of the group of teenagers that were there.
They are seeking camera footage from the area.
A teenage boy who was stabbed to death in Dublin has been named locally as Josh Dunne, a talented young footballer.
Described as ‘a fantastic kid, brave as a lion, principled and adored, a special talent,’ by a member of the football community, the 16-year-old died in hospital after a violent incident on East Road, East Wall at around 9.20pm last night.
It is believed that an argument broke out between two groups.
Josh and another teenage boy were rushed to the Mater Hospital with serious injuries and Josh was later pronounced dead.
A third person also presented to the Mater Hospital to be treated for injuries.
A post mortem is due to be carried out this afternoon at the City Morgue by Dr Heidi Okkers, Locum Assistant State Pathologist.
Gardaí said that a family Liaison Officer has been appointed to and continues to liaise with the family.
“If you do one thing today hug your kids. Make sure you know where they are at all times,” local Dublin Councillor Anthony Flynn wrote on Twitter.
Cllr Flynn said that there have been six incidents involving knives in his Dublin constituency in one week.
If you do one thing today hug your kids.Make sure you know where they are at all times.— Cllr. Anthony Flynn (@AnthonyICHH) January 27, 2021
Don’t succumb to trial by social media, give Gardaì room to investigate the incident.A young boy is dead. Nobody deserves that.
Every one of us must denounce knife crime.
“As a society we must all stand up and play our part #EndKnifeCrime," he wrote.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Janice Boylan said: "It's absolutely horrific. I'm very very concerned at the rise in knife crime across the city.
"I would urge the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to put all the resources needed into the criminal investigation so that people that are responsible for this can be brought to justice. The community is devastated."
She said there had been a number of other stabbing incidents in the general area in recent days.
"It just seems to be an unprecedented rise in knife crime and it's absolutely terrifying. I'm a local councillor but I also have teenage boys myself, to just see and hear this type of criminality in our community is absolutely devastating.
"That family is absolutely torn apart now, there's no getting over the loss of a child, and in such extreme and barbaric circumstances as well is horrific. I'm very saddened to be even talking about this."
Tolka Rovers AFC Sports and Social Club wrote a tribute on Facebook for Josh, saying: “We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Josh Dunne. It was a privilege to have him play for Tolka Rovers FC and to watch him play football under the guidance of Coco, Kev and James.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time. Rest in Peace Josh.”
Another tribute on Facebook read: “Can't believe Josh is gone such a fantastic kid and it wud [sic] be Josh to go and help somebody been attacked he was a brave a lion. Honest funny talented lad that had his principles and was adored by his coaches team mates parents on the team and around the club.
“What player Josh was a special talent that has played in teams between skb/bohs the last 3 years and had 2 week trial with Dundee FC it so sad he's gone. THE MATCH WINNER LEGEND GOAL MACHINE “JOSH Dunne OUR NO 11”.
Bohemians soccer club issued an official statement this afternoon.
"Everyone at Bohemians is devastated to learn of the death of Bohs-SKB player Josh Dunne, who died in tragic circumstances last night," the club said.
"Josh was a talented and well-liked young footballer, who will be sadly missed by all of his former team-mates and coaches.
"We extend our deepest condolences to those former team-mates and coaches, and to all his family, friends and schoolmates.
"Josh died last night as a result of a stabbing incident in East Wall. An Garda Síochána have launched a murder investigation and we echo their appeal for witnesses to come forward.
"This is an extremely difficult time for all of Josh's team-mates. The loss of someone so young in such circumstances will be hard for them to comprehend.
"Bohemian Football Club encourages them, or their parents on their behalf, to come forward and seek help if they are struggling. We will do all we can to support our players, past or present," the club added.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the East Road, East Wall area between 9pm and 9.40pm and may have any information or footage (including dash cam), to contact Store Street Garda Station on 01 6668000, the Garda confidential phone line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.