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final farewell Funeral for George Nkencho who was shot by gardai held in Dublin

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.”

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The coffin of George Nkencho is removed from the hearse on arrival at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Huntstown

The coffin of George Nkencho is removed from the hearse on arrival at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Huntstown

The coffin of George Nkencho is removed from the hearse on arrival at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Huntstown

MOURNERS at the funeral of George Nkencho were today asked to remember him for who he was and not 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 30th last, took place in the Church of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus in Huntstown at noon.

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.

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.

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George Nkencho’s sister told mourners her brother was ‘at peace’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

George Nkencho’s sister told mourners her brother was ‘at peace’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

George Nkencho’s sister told mourners her brother was ‘at peace’ (Brian Lawless/PA)

“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.

The 27-year-old is to be laid to rest in Mulhuddart Cemetery following his funeral mass.

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The coffin of George Nkencho arrives at the church (Brian Lawless/PA)

The coffin of George Nkencho arrives at the church (Brian Lawless/PA)

The coffin of George Nkencho arrives at the church (Brian Lawless/PA)

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

In advance of his funeral, gardai had appealed to mourners planning to attend the funeral to abide by Covid-19 guidelines.

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.

“Mourners are asked to observe social distance, (wear) face masks and to line up along the road instead of huddling together,” the organisers said in advance of the funeral.

“Anything capable of bad press/ publicity must be avoided.”

Flyers were also given out to mourners outside the church which read: ‘Farewell George. We won’t forget. We’ll stand for justice and truth.’

George’s funeral had been delayed by two postmortems – one carried out by the State and one by a private pathologist conducted at the request of the family.

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

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

A video of the shooting showed five shots being fired by gardai and appeared to show Mr Nkencho lunging at gardaí in the front garden of the house.

In a statement gardai said officers had engaged in a graduated response to the threat, initially issuing verbal commands before using pepper spray and Tasers to subdue the deceased man.

However, after those earlier tactics did not bring the incident to a peaceful end, gardaí followed George to his home where a stand-off ensued in the front garden, ending when the shots were fired.

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 groupings in a bid to stir up racial hatred.

George Nkencho moved from Nigeria to Ireland with his parents as a young child.

It is understood his family had considered burying him in Nigeria but were unable to do so due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

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