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'George Nkencho Coalition' issues statement demanding an independent public inquiry into fatal shooting

Mr Nkencho was shot dead by Gardaí outside his west Dublin home on December 30 after a standoff

Members of the George Nkencho Coalition during a press conference at Blanchardstown Garda Station, Dublin where the George Nkencho Coalition called for a public inquiry into the death of George Nkencho. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Neil Fetherston

A statement issued by a group calling itself the George Nkencho Coalition has called for a full public inquiry into the shooting dead of the Dublin man last December.

The statement that has been issued today “on behalf of the family of late George Nkencho” states that they wish to convey the “feeling of shock and devastation over the fatal shooting of 27-year-old George Nkencho by the Garda Síochána Armed Response Unit, in front of his house, on Wednesday 30th December 2020.”

Mr Nkencho was shot dead by Gardaí outside his west Dublin home on December 30.

He had been involved in a confrontation at a local convenience store, and the incident later culminated in a standoff outside his home in Clonee during which he was carrying a knife.

“As many of us saw in several print and social media accounts in the aftermath of the killing, questions around race and ethnicity, class, equity and inclusion are now being freely expressed as a matter of concern,” the statement reads.

“The indignation felt by our community is further orchestrated by the mental health illness of late George Nkencho and the anguish and trauma his family now experience.”

The statement then goes on to say they join the George Nkencho family to “decry the pace of the ongoing investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)”.

“The family and community is hurting very badly and only justice can mitigate the present feeling of despondency,” it adds. “We must realise that justice delayed is justice denied. Additionally, we expect that the investigation process would be transparent, thorough and fair.”

The statement also calls on the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to intervene by launching an independent public inquiry into the fatal shooting.

“A public enquiry would offer insights into the current process and determine if additional measures should have been deployed in the George Nkencho tragic situation.

“The process would identify and offer solutions to any deficiencies in policing especially concerning minorities or persons with mental health challenges.”

The statement adds: “The first thing we all need to say, especially if we are ordinary working class people who live in the Dublin15/Blanchardstown area, is that George Nkencho was one of our own.

“George was one of us because he was an ordinary lad, like so many others, doing his best to cope and live his life in very difficult circumstances, in an area that suffers disproportionately from poverty and deprivation.

“That’s why all of us should be standing with George’s grieving family and friends and demanding Justice for George. Justice doesn’t mean revenge. It means finding out the truth and that means an independent inquiry.”

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