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REST IN PEACE 'Farewell George. We won't forget. We will stand for justice & truth'

The funeral Mass of George Nkencho (27), who was shot dead by gardaí outside his home in Clonee, Dublin, on December 30 last, took place in the Church of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus in Huntstown.

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Family and friends don masks at the graveside.  INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

Family and friends don masks at the graveside. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

Mourners with signs pay trinute to George. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

Mourners with signs pay trinute to George. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

The coffin is lowered into the grave. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

The coffin is lowered into the grave. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

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Family and friends don masks at the graveside. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

George Nkencho's devastated family bow their heads in sorrow as his coffin is lowered into the ground following his funeral service yesterday afternoon.

The photograph was taken at his grave in Mulhuddart cemetery with the permission of the Nkencho family.

Earlier in the day, mourners at the funeral were asked to remember him for who he was - and not for what was said about him after his death.

The funeral Mass of George (27), who was shot dead by gardaí outside his home in Clonee, Dublin, on December 30 last, took place in the Church of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus in Huntstown at noon on Saturday.

The service was limited to 10 people in line with the Government's Covid-19 restrictions; however, organisers had also appointed stewards in an attempt to enforce social distancing among mourners who gathered outside the church.

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George’s mum Blessing with a photo of her son at the graveside

George’s mum Blessing with a photo of her son at the graveside

George’s mum Blessing with a photo of her son at the graveside

As the Mass opened, George's sister Gloria implored those present to remember her brother for the person who he was and not what was said about him in the aftermath of his death.

"This is in memory of my brother," she said, "for everything he stood for, for all that he believed in.

"He is welcomed into the bosom of the Lord.

"He is at peace.

"He is happy.

"Finally he will be at peace.

"Please remember George not for what they said about him but for who he is and who he will forever be in our hearts, a brother, a son, a nephew, a best friend, a cousin, a team mate, a classmate, a protector, a partner. He is at peace."

Distraught family members then brought symbols to the altar in memory of George, including a flag, a notebook and a CD.

Speaking during the Mass the priest said he hopes the most vulnerable in our society are given the care that they need.

"I know how much this tragic death affected you all and is affecting you. He will always be in your hearts and your memories... It was so tragic and horrific for the family members to witness this. The sudden death of a loved one is like an unexpected power outage.

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The coffin is lowered into the grave. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

The coffin is lowered into the grave. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

The coffin is lowered into the grave. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

"It changes our lives in the blink of an eye and turns our lives upside down. I know you all feel the same way and are devastated by George's death. Words may not be adequate to express the pain and sorrow we feel as a parish community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of George whose hearts are broken at this time."

He urged people to have patience with the investigation into the death.

"I urge all of you to continue to pray for our brother and let the law do its work as investigations are still ongoing.

"Be patient with proper authorities. That is the only advice I would give to the whole family and friends of George. Let us be patient with all authorities."

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Mourners with signs pay trinute to George. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

Mourners with signs pay trinute to George. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

Mourners with signs pay trinute to George. INM’s photographer was given permission to be at the graveside by the family.

The 27-year-old was laid to rest in Mulhuddart Cemetery following his funeral Mass.

George's death is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Local gardaí had worked with organisers, the funeral was live-streamed on the internet, and arrangements were put in place to accommodate mourners outside the church.

Flyers were given out to mourners at the church which read: "Farewell George. We won't forget. We'll stand for justice and truth."

George was shot dead by the Garda Armed Support Unit outside his home following an incident in which a shop worker was assaulted in a nearby supermarket.

A stand-off between George, who was carrying a kitchen knife, and gardaí ensued and continued as he walked home.

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George Nkencho

George Nkencho

George Nkencho

Following his death, George's family said he had been suffering from mental health issues in the months beforehand.

A video of the shooting showed five shots being fired by gardaí and appeared to show George lunging at gardaí. After his death, far right activists circulated a series of false claims on social media, including one that the deceased man had 32 previous convictions.

A Sunday World investigation established George had, in fact, no previous convictions and that his death was being abused by these groups in a bid to stir up racial hatred.

George Nkencho moved from Nigeria to Ireland with his parents as a child. It is understood his family had considered burying him in Nigeria but were unable to due to Covid-19- related restrictions.

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