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false claims Family of George Nkencho pursuing legal action over 'vindictive assertions' circulating online

Lawyers retained by the family of Mr Nkencho said they will taking legal action over the 'vindictive assertions' on George's character while also closely scrutinising the statutory investigation into his death.

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George Nkencho was shot dead after brandishing a knife at officers

George Nkencho was shot dead after brandishing a knife at officers

George Nkencho’s mother, Blessing, arrives at the scene of the shooting

George Nkencho’s mother, Blessing, arrives at the scene of the shooting

Demonstrators outside Blanchardstown Garda Station following the fatal shooting

Demonstrators outside Blanchardstown Garda Station following the fatal shooting

Proesters talk with gardaí in Blanchardstown

Proesters talk with gardaí in Blanchardstown

RollingNews.ie

Anita Ogbozor, from Corduf, joins in protest

Anita Ogbozor, from Corduf, joins in protest

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George Nkencho was shot dead after brandishing a knife at officers

A 27-year-old man shot dead by gardaí during an incident in Dublin this week had no previous convictions - contrary to claims generated by a far-right organisation now circulating online.

Although George Nkencho was arrested during a previous incident at his home on Manorfields Drive in Hartstown last January, the matter was later dealt with under the provisions of the Mental Health Act.

Sources also say that two minor matters over which Mr Nkencho was charged in the past were subsequently struck out.

The revelations come as a campaign of false information relating to the deceased man's past continues on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Authorities fear actors on both the far right and far left are attempting to use Mr Nkencho's death to incite racial division.

An image of facial injuries sustained by an Everton football fan in 2019 has also been circulated with the false claim it depicts the shop-worker assaulted by Mr Nkencho.

Last night, lawyers retained by the family of Mr Nkencho said they will taking legal action over the 'vindictive assertions' on George's character while also closely scrutinising the statutory investigation into his death.

"The family wishes to reassure all voices concerned that independent legal advice has been retained through the firms of Phelim O'Neill Solicitors and Harringtons LLP Solicitors," the family's lawyers said in a statement to this newspaper.

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Demonstrators outside Blanchardstown Garda Station following the fatal shooting

Demonstrators outside Blanchardstown Garda Station following the fatal shooting

Demonstrators outside Blanchardstown Garda Station following the fatal shooting

"The family will be vigilantly scrutinising all independent statutory processes, reviewing the shooting dead of George, to ensure that the truth and justice is served," the statement said.

"At this point the Nkencho family wish to correct the record in one material aspect.

"Attempts have been made to sully the character of George Nkencho.

"The family will be pursuing legal actions in respect of these vindictive assertions in the Courts.

"George Nkencho was a gentle son and loving brother.

"He was not known to Gardaí. He was of good character. He had suffered for many years with his mental health.

"The family have grave concerns as to the manner in which An Garda Síochána handled the incident that led to George's untimely death.

"The family through their legal representatives now intend to actively engage with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission investigation with a view to establishing the truth."

The statement also noted: "The Nkencho family would like to gratefully acknowledge the warm outpouring of sympathy from across the country following the tragic death of George Nkencho who was shot dead by members of An Garda Síochána on Wednesday 30th December 2020.

"The family is grieving the loss of a beloved son, brother, nephew and friend. The family also wish to acknowledge the traumatic effect that George's death has had on the wider Irish African community. Mr Nkencho's death on Wednesday has led to mounting tensions in the Dublin 15 area as protests continue over his fatal shooting.

Officers are aware of a video circulating online, allegedly recorded during one protest, in which threatening comments were made about the garda involved in the shooting.

But sources say gardaí have been taking a "step back approach" in an effort to calm the situation.

It's understood Mr Nkencho's family had a meeting with senior officers in Blanchardstown Garda Station on Thursday morning as a protest took place outside.

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Proesters talk with gardaí in Blanchardstown

Proesters talk with gardaí in Blanchardstown

RollingNews.ie

Proesters talk with gardaí in Blanchardstown

A smaller protest took place on Friday.

"This is a now fully a GSOC (Garda Ombudsman) investigation - five shots were fired by one male garda from the Armed Support Unit (ASU) and that is the focus of the investigation," the source said.

"All gardaí, including him, that were at the scene are now classified as witnesses in the investigation that is independent of An Garda Síochána."

Details of the events leading up to the shooting are well known with much of what occurred having been recorded either on CCTV or by bystanders.

At approximately 12.15pm on Wednesday, gardaí responded to reports of a public order incident involving what was described a male, in his late twenties, armed with a knife at Hartstown Shopping Centre.

Gardaí said that during an incident a male staff member received facial injuries.

He later received medical attention in Connolly Memorial Hospital. The Sunday World yesterday spoke with this staff member but he declined to comment.

Subsequently, a second public order incident was reported at the adjacent Post Office in the Shopping Centre.

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Anita Ogbozor, from Corduf, joins in protest

Anita Ogbozor, from Corduf, joins in protest

Anita Ogbozor, from Corduf, joins in protest

Uniformed, unarmed Gardaí responded to the scene and observed the male (George Nkencho) in possession of a knife.

According to gardaí, Mr Nkencho continued to threaten members of the public and unarmed officers with the knife.

Gardai said they then followed the male on foot and in vehicles from the Hartstown Shopping Centre towards Manorfields Drive.

During this period gardaí said they engaged with Mr Nkencho and encouraged him to drop the weapon.

Members of the Armed Support Unit then arrived at a scene in Manorfields Drive.

Gardaí said the Armed Support Unit were also threatened with a knife and implemented a graduated response where the use of less-lethal force options, Taser and OC (pepper) spray, were used in an effort to resolve the incident.

The less-lethal use of force options were unsuccessful, Garda said in a statement.

At approximately 12.35pm a member of the Armed Support Unit fired a number of shots from his official weapon, hitting Mr Nkencho.

Video footage of the shooting, recorded at a distance, shows Mr Nkencho wielding what appears to be a knife and lunging at a member of the gardaí as the shots rang out.

A total of five shots can be heard in the shooting, with sources saying Mr Nkencho was shot a total of four times - including two shots to the arm and two to the chest.

Mr Nkencho was treated at the scene by Garda Armed Support Unit paramedics and Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics and transferred to Connolly Memorial Hospital, in Blanchardstown, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.


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