Over 1,500 people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday in protest of the racially motivated murder of 16-year-old Nigerian Toyosi Shitta-bey.
Although elders within the Nigerian community asked the protesters to abandon the protest, 1500 people, including family, friends, neighbors and politicians gathered at Parnell Square, before marching to the Irish Parliament.
The crowd chanted the words "never again" and waved placards that said "Enough is enough", "Say no to racism and "Lets unite and be one."
Several speakers addressed the crowd, including Socialist MEP Joe Higgins, trade union representative Jack O'Connor of SIPTU, members of the African community and Toyosi's cousin Abisoye Shitta-bey.
“Never again should something like this happen in this country. We want to make sure that Toyosi’s death was not in vain.” said Eric Yao of the African Centre. MEP Joe Higgins said that "low level racism" was emerging throughout society.
O'Connor said, “No one should attempt, on the basis of this tragic event, to promote division or disharmony on the basis of where someone lives or comes from.
"Everyone who lives in Ireland today owes their ancestry to people who came here from somewhere else."
"Racism was here before any immigrants arrived" and urged people to "ask any member of the travelling community," said one Chinese woman.
When the protest reached government buildings they were addressed by the Minister of State Ciaran Cuffe.
“There is no black Ireland or white Ireland, there is one Ireland. There is no old Ireland and new Ireland, there is one Ireland.”
Cuffe said that the Minister for Integration would work closely with the Department of Justice to “make sure those who committed this crime face the penalties that they deserve under the laws of this land”.
Toyosi's cousin Abisoye Shitta-bey read out a poem she wrote for the commemoration.
“God wanted a football player for his team in heaven. He looked down and say Toyosi Shitta-bey
“So God took him by the hand . . . You are safe where you are . . . in God’s care.” she said.
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned