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family meeting Gardaí bid to calm tensions in Blanchardstown after shooting of George Nkencho


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George Nkencho

George Nkencho

George Nkencho

GARDAÍ are taking a "step back approach" in Clonee, Dublin, in an effort to calm the situation after an officer shot and killed George Nkencho this week.

Tensions remain high in the Dublin 15 area after a number of disorder incidents and protests on Thursday.

A source said that gardaí were trying to defuse the situation and have been talking to Mr Nkencho's family.

An investigation into his tragic death is being carried out by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

When contacted, a GSOC spokeswoman said she could not comment on the case as "investigations are ongoing".

Senior sources said Mr Nkencho's family had a meeting with senior Garda management in the service's Blanchardstown station on Thursday morning as a protest took place outside. A smaller protest took place yesterday.

"This is a now fully a GSOC 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."

Candlelit vigils have been held across the country in remembrance of Mr Nkencho.

They took place at the Spire, O'Connell Street, Dublin; Eyre Square, Galway, and other locations at 3pm yesterday.

The 27-year-old was shot in the garden of his home by officers in west Dublin at around 12.35pm on Wednesday and was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Sources previously said the decision by an officer from the ASU to fire shots was because the highly trained garda believed there was an "imminent threat to life".

"He had been pepper sprayed and tasered but when this did not work, the use of lethal force became necessary. There were concerns he could kill someone," a senior source said.

Locals are still "reeling" from the tragedy, Fine Gael Councillor Ted Leddy said as he made a plea for calm following protests during the week.

"I would like to extend my sympathies to his family and I would appeal for calm to let the investigation take its course," he said.

"The community is reeling in shock. It's an extremely rare event and people don't know what to make of it."

Fianna Fáil Councillor Howard Mahony said engagement should take place with local representatives if there are members of the community who feel like they have issues or have been "hard done by".

"There's an awful lot of anger and hurt," he said.

"We need engagement and we need to sort whatever the issue is. There needs to be engagement from the public with elected representatives to see if we can fix this.

"Don't stay quiet, that's what we're here for," he urged the community.

Earlier this week, Mr Nkencho's sister asked the public to not share videos of her brother being shot after footage circulated on social media.

In a statement posted on social media, she said he had been "suffering from serious mental illness and those who knew him know the type of person he was, he was not a thug nor a criminal".

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