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Tragedy Tragic teen Josh Dunne stabbed trying to calm situation after row over theft of a bike

Josh Dunne (16) died after being stabbed three times during a public order incident in Dublin’s north inner city shortly after 9pm on Tuesday.

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Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

A promising young footballer was stabbed to death in the capital after trying to intervene in a row over a stolen bike, gardaí believe.

Josh Dunne (16) died after being stabbed three times during a public order incident in Dublin’s north inner city shortly after 9pm on Tuesday.

Football clubs that the talented teenager played for, including Dundee United and Bohemians FC, have led tributes to him.

Detectives believe Josh and his friends came across two people assaulting a 23-year-old man who was accused of stealing a delivery cyclist’s bike.

As Josh and a 16-year-old friend attempted to calm the situation, the pair were stabbed three times each and seriously injured during the incident on East Road, East Wall.

They were both rushed to the Mater Hospital in Dublin where Josh was later pronounced dead.

The 23-year-old male also suffered stab wounds to his back and required hospital treatment. Gardaí are due to quiz him over the alleged bike theft.

Gardaí investigating the murder have identified a Brazilian national as a chief suspect in the case and are expected to make arrests.

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Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Sources said that at this stage it has not yet been established who initially produced the knife used in the attacks.

“This incident escalated from the alleged theft of a bike to a fatal stabbing. The teenager killed had absolutely nothing to do with the initial incident and appears to have been trying to calm the situation when he was stabbed,” a senior source said.

Detectives believe Josh was with a group of up to eight teen boys and girls at the time and have spoken to them in order to establish what happened.

Tributes have poured in for the murder victim, who played for several prestigious clubs over the years.

The director of football at St Kevin’s Boys FC said that Josh would have been training at the time he was stabbed if the club wasn’t closed due to Covid restrictions.

Ken Donohoe said that the death has shocked him, the club, and the Ballymun community deeply.

“It was a huge shock. Nobody can believe it. It’s terrible that any young boy would be taken like this, but because he was close to us we feel it deeply,” he said.

He described the Ballymun teen as a ‘natural talent’ on the playing field. “He was a very, very, very good player.

"Football was a focus in his life. He had a totally natural talent. These things aren’t just coached into being. Josh had a talent and we were just advising and guiding him,” he explained.

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Josh Dunne.

Josh Dunne.

Josh Dunne.

“He was a popular and happy-go-lucky lad, and his managers Mark Tierney and Gerry Reddy describe him as an absolute natural and a popular lad with no discipline problems,” Mr Donohoe added.

“It’s just difficult to comprehend that such a good kid could be taken from us. I can’t think how his poor mother is feeling,” he said.

Mr Donohoe said Dundee United were keen on Joshua’s talents, having spotted him play. “They were monitoring his progress,” he explained.

In a statement the Scottish Premiership side, where he was on trial in 2019, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Josh Dunne.

“Josh was a trialist with our Foyle Cup & Super Cup squads in 2019 where he was warmly welcomed and respected by players and staff.

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family and friends.”

Bohemians FC paid tribute to Josh saying: “Everyone at Bohemians is devastated to learn of the death of Bohs-SKB player Josh Dunne in tragic circumstances.

“Josh was a talented young footballer who will be sadly missed by former team-mates and coaches.

“We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

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Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Josh Dunne

Tolka AFC said: “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.”

Investigators are appealing for anyone with information, or who may have witnessed the incident, to contact Store Street garda station.

Gardaí appealed for information from anyone who was in the East Road, East Wall, area of Dublin between 9pm and 9.40pm and may have any information or footage – including dash cam.

Contact Store Street station on 01 666 8000, Garda Confidential Phone Number 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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