Tributes paid to Dublin shopkeeper who died after chasing shoplifter

Book of condolence opened for ‘Dublin GAA fan’ Akram Hussein, who had a ‘permanent smile’

A shopkeeper who fell ill and died after chasing a shoplifter in north Dublin over the weekend has been remembered as having “a permanent smile”.

Akram Hussein (45), who was originally from Bangladesh, had been working at the Centra store in Drumcondra for over 15 years.

A youth robbed a number of items from the store and was chased down the road by Mr Hussein and another member of staff on Sunday morning.

Mr Hussein fell ill shortly afterwards and was taken to the Mater Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday afternoon.

A book of condolence has been set up inside the shop.

Peggy Groarke, who owns the Centra store with her husband Nathy, said Mr Hussein was "an absolute pleasure".

“We’ve had a book of condolence in the shop for the last few days because that’s what the local community wanted,” Ms Groarke said.

“I was just amazed at the amount of people coming in. We’ve had local politicians, local gardaí, nurses from the Mater Hospital and doctors. He started around 5am and so he knew everyone going to work. I’ve never seen anything like the love people have had for Akram.

“The age profile of people coming in was from about 4 to 90, so he didn’t just appeal to any particular age group. The children loved him, he knew all their names.”

Mr Hussein is understood to have had a 14-year-old son and wife living in Bangladesh, where he will be brought back for burial.

“He had a talent that was exceptional and always had a permanent smile,” Ms Groarke added.

“He just had a presence and he would always have something to say. Even though he was from Bangladesh, he kept up with Irish news and was a big fan of the GAA.”

Tributes in the book of condolence remembered Mr Hussein as “a great Dublin GAA fan” and “someone who always put a smile on my face”.