Irish Court Acquits Nigerian Teen Murder Accused

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – On April 13, 2010, Masterweb published an article titled "Many Protest Racist Murder of Nigerian Teen" ( The article is republished below ). Michael Barry, a 26-year-old man accused of murdering the Nigerian teenager in a row with racial undertones told court he did not know his brother (now diseased) had a knife when they were after a group of young boys and girls to try to retrieve his mobile phone from them.

 

Barry in his testemony said before 15-year-old Toyosi Shittabey was stabbed, “I was extremely annoyed, worked up and I just wanted my phone back”. It was the sixth day of trial of Michael Barry, a resident of Ringsend, Dublin, who pled not guilty in the murder of Toyosi Shittabey on April 2, 2010, at The Boulevard, Mount Eustace, in Tyrrelstown, Dublin.

 

Prosecution argued Barry’s late brother Paul inflicted the stab wound on Shittabey but that Michael was an accessory to the murder. Counsel for the prosecution told the opening hearing that on the fateful day, the victim was with a "group of five black youths and four white females" and one of the girls asked for the light-up of her cigarette by Paul Barry. According to the counsel, a row ensued with "racist undertones" and name calling followed by exchange of blows. Counsel for prosecution continued that believing a phone was taken by the group, Barry and his brother Paul pursued the group in a car and confronted them at a roundabout in Tyrrelstown. Prosecution told court Paul Barry holding a knife approached one of the youths and Shittabey went to assist the youth in danger and was stabbed by paul in the chest.

 

The judge in his ruling believed Barry had no prior knowledge his late brother had a knife and ordered acquittal of Barry. Judge Barry White told court there was no evidence Barry knew his brother Paul was carrying a knife when he drove him to the scene where he stabbed Shittabey. The judge also cited the failure of a crucial witness to give evidence in court and the fact that Paul Barry was now dead. The judge directed a verdict of not guilty entered in the case against Michael Barry, saying: "In circumstances where the accused man's brother has died and with the refusal of a witness to co-operate, the interests of justice may not be well served in this case".

 

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BELOW IS OUR ARTICLE OF APRIL 13, 2010

 

Many Protest Racist Murder of Nigerian Teen                     Date: April 13, 2010.

 

By Masterweb News Desk

 

Over 2000 people on Saturday, April 10 in Dublin marched in protest of the racist murder of a Nigerian teen. Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland. The march was peaceful with a large number of police presence. Toyosi Shittabey, a Muslim 15-year-old boy of Nigerian decent was on Friday, April 2 this year stabbed to death in Dublin, in what many described as racial attack. The teenager was found lying on the street, near his home, at Mount Eustace in Tyrelstown at about 2000 BST on the fateful day. He was rushed to the hospital and died short time later. Many condemned the attack, describing it as racially motivated. A Dublin teenager, Patrick Kabangu, was reported as saying: “Racism is hiding everywhere. It is in the schools. Everywhere in Ireland is racist, it is just being hidden. This country is crazy.” Another resident in a Dublin Sunday Tribune report said: "It was a racist attack. He was a lovely happy-go-lucky boy." Two men aged 23 and 38 were arrested as suspects. The Garda (Irish Police) in a press statement said an official from its Racial and Intercultural Office was working in the city amid concerns about tensions.

 

Shittabey, is one of six children who migrated to Ireland with their parents 11 years ago. The 15-year-old, a talented footballer who played for Shelbourne’s youth team, was walking home from the National Aquatic Centre in company of friends when they were subjected to racial name calling by two men in the Mount Eustace estate. Words were exchanged between the two groups with Shittabey’s group walking away from the scene. The duo ran into their nearby home and picked up knives with which they went after Shittabey’s group in a car. The 15-year-old told his friends to ignore the stalkers and as they walked away, Shittabey was stabbed on the chest by one of the men.

 

A very reliable source identified one of the assailants as Paul Barry, 38, a resident of an undisclosed address on Pearse Street in Dublin. Paul Barry according to the source, was in 2001 when he was 29, charged under Section 2 of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, after a stabbing incident on Pearse Street the previous year. Barry who was unemployed at that time was charged along three other men - Paul Fitzpatrick (20), David Colclough (29), and Darren Kenny (31). The four, charged under Section 2 of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act were accused of using the word 'nigger' and 'niggers' during an attack, June 11, 2000 on David Richardson, 46, and his son Christian, 25, on Pearse Street.

 

The march in memory of Toyosi Shittabey was organized against calls for its abandonment by Nigerian Muslim community leaders who argued it may spin out of control. In addition, some of the religious leaders saw it as too political. The march which began at Parnell Square, ending at the Irish Parliament, was led by a sizeable contingent of mainly black teenagers. “Never Again” they chanted as they marched with different worded placards.

 

The march which mobilized a faction of Dublin black population, and both human rights and anti-racist groups, was unquantifiable display of solidarity. Different speakers drawn mainly from political parties spoke at the end of the march. Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party junior minister spoke condemning the attack in its totality.

 

Other speakers included Socialist MEP Joe Higgins, trade union representative Jack O'Connor of SIPTU, members of the African community and Shittabey's cousin Abisoye Shittabey. Toyosi's cousin after her speech, read a poem she wrote for the commemoration, which read: “God wanted a football player for his team in heaven. He looked down and say Toyosi Shittabey.” The crowd concurred: “So God took him by the hand . . . You are safe where you are . . . in God’s care.” Jack O’Connor spoke of the need for unity and solidarity in the wake of Shittabey’s death. “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,” he said.

 

When the march reached government buildings, it was addressed by Minister of State, Ciaran Cuffe. Cuffe in his speech said that the Minister for Integration should work closely with the Department of Justice to make sure those who murdered Shittabey faced penalties they deserve under the law. He continued: “There is no black Ireland or white Ireland, there is one Ireland. There is no old Ireland and new Ireland, there is one Ireland.”

 

Many have condemned the racist murder of Shittabey, while some disgruntled elements are engaging in cyber ranting. There are several reports of racist blogging on possible backlash from Shittabey’s murder. The bloggers, many using neo-Nazi logos in their identity boxes, discuss the possibility of a backlash from the immigrant community in the death of Toyosi Shittabey. Some of the racist comments included: "If they want trouble they will get it -- they had better get on the government/taxpayer-sponsored planes back home cos its gonna get worse for them if they stay. This country is in recessio

 
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