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D15 death highlights need for integration

Last update - Thursday, April 8, 2010, 13:03 By Metro Éireann

The brutal killing of 15-year-old Nigerian schoolboy Toyosi Shittabey in northwest Dublin on Good Friday has been widely condemned in the strongest possible words.

Though he lived a very short life, the rising soccer star – popularly known as ‘Toy’ – made a difference in the lives of many people. His humorous nature was well highlighted in the condolence register at the Hartstown Community College, where he was studying for his Junior Cert. Several made reference to how good he was to them and all the laughs they had together.
On Easter Monday, politicians from all parties in the Dublin West constituency visited the deceased’s family to give their condolences. However, questions have been raised about the political inaction regarding integration that has created a space for racism to flourish.
Going by the Shittabey family’s claim that their son’s death was racially motivated, we strongly believe that it could have been avoided if race relations were more positive.
This tragic incident has provided an opportunity for politicians and public servants to reassess their contribution to diversity. We need greater leadership in the management of diversity; we need better policies and programmes to create a stronger bond between immigrants and the wider Irish society.
While we sincerely hope for the best, there is no guarantee that such an attack would never happen again unless serious efforts are made by everyone to prevent it. Every one of us is important, and every life is sacred.

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