A man arrested in connection with the killing of Josh Dunne (16) in north Dublin was expected to be charged and to appear before the courts in the city as early as Saturday.
The suspect in the case was arrested on Thursday evening just hours after at least 800 people gathered in Coultry Park, Ballymun, north Dublin, for a remembrance event for Dunne, who lived with his family in the area.
The man being held is a 35-year-old Brazilian national who has been living near scene of the fatal stabbing in East Wall, Dublin 3, on Tuesday night. The teenager was stabbed repeatedly during a serious street disturbance on East Road at about 9.20pm.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken by ambulance to the Mater hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another teenage boy who knew Dunne was also stabbed during the incident and a 23-year-old Dublin man was injured. While both were treated at the Mater, they have since been discharged and are expected to make a full recovery.
Gardaí believe two delivery cyclists were on East Road on Tuesday night when they saw another man apparently stealing a bike owned by a third delivery cyclist and intervened in a bid to stop the theft. Other people, including Dunne and some of his friends, as well as other delivery cyclists, arrived on the scene as a disturbance was underway over the bicycle. When Dunne and the other boy intervened, both were stabbed.
Gardaí sealed off the scene and while they searched for the murder weapon they were unable to find it. Detectives also spoke to a number of people who were on the scene and their investigations were focused on trying to find and interview two men who became people of interest in the case.
On Thursday evening it emerged gardaí had arrested the Brazilian suspect who was still in custody on Friday night. He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, allowing for him to be questioned for up to 24 hours without charge.
However, that 24-hour period is suspended for breaks between Garda interviews and the man being questioned in connection with the fatal stabbing had his period of detention extended for a second 12-hour period at about 4pm on Friday. His period in custody was not due to expire until Saturday morning.
Dunne was described as a talented footballer who had played for St Kevin’s Boys as well as the youth teams at League of Ireland team Bohemians FC and Scottish premiership team Dundee Utd FC.
A statement issued by his mother, Dianne, and the rest of her family described him as “an amazing, happy and talented boy who was tragically taken from our lives at just 16 years old”.
“Josh’s smile lit up every room he walked into, and he had a promising career ahead of him on the football pitch,” his family said.
They would “always remember our Josh as a happy, caring and amazing boy” and a “dreamer and a doer”. The family thanked the community in Ballymun for their support and asked the media “to let us grieve in peace”.