The family of Yosuke Sasaki, the young Japanese man murdered in Co Louth earlier this month, has released a statement saying how much he loved Ireland.
Sasaki, a 24-year-old call center worker, was stabbed in the back while walking from work on Wednesday, January 3.
The murder was part of a string of attacks by 18-year-old Egyptian native Mohamed Morei. Two young Irish men were also injured.
Read More: Potential terror links being investigated after fatal knife rampage in Co. Louth
A candlelight vigil was held around Dundalk Courthouse in memory of Saskai. The vigil was organized by members of Dundalk Municipal District.
In a statement sent out by the Embassy of Japan on their behalf, Sasaki’s family said: "We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the kindness the people of Ireland have shown.
VIDEO: A candlelit vigil has been held in Dundalk in memory of a Japanese man stabbed to death in the town. 24-year-old Yosuke Sasaki died last week.@ZaraKing reports pic.twitter.com/ixzbCtOYAK— 3News (@3NewsIreland) January 9, 2018
"When he was alive, our son spoke about the warmth of the people of this town and his love of Dundalk.
"He came to Ireland initially as a language student and only intended a short stay. However, he was touched by the kindness of the Irish people and he decided to work here.
"As a family, we are truly saddened by what has happened, but we hope that this incident will not give Japanese people a bad impression of Ireland.
Please Retweet— Dundalk News (@DundalksNews) January 4, 2018
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the Repatriation of Japanese national Yosuke Sasaki, who was murdered in Dundalk yesterdayhttps://t.co/DDrG7f5xSH
"We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the ambulance personnel, the Gardaí, National Pen Limited, Mr. Oliver Morgan who set up the GoFundMe page, the staff of the Embassy of Japan, and the members of Louth County Council who organized tonight's candlelight vigil.
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"Finally, we hope that a tragic event like this one will never happen in this country again. The Sasaki Family."
The Embassy of Japan said it extends its "sincere gratitude to the members of the Irish public who have sent us messages expressing their condolences.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Yosuke Sasaki’s family repatriate his body to Japan.
H/T Irish Mirror