Fatal shooting | 

George Nkencho's family to mark anniversary of death with vigil at garda station today

Mr Nkencho (27) was armed with a knife when he was shot in his front garden after his family had pleaded he be left alone
Funeral: George Nkencho’s mother Blessing (right) carries a picture of her son at his burial last year

Funeral: George Nkencho’s mother Blessing (right) carries a picture of her son at his burial last year

Conor Feehan

The family of George Nkencho, who was shot dead after a confrontation with armed gardaí outside his west Dublin home, will mark the first anniversary of his death with a vigil outside Blanchardstown garda station today.

Mr Nkencho (27) was armed with a knife and had been involved in an earlier incident at a shop in Hartstown before being followed by gardaí to nearby Clonee where he was shot in his front garden after his family had pleaded he be left alone.

Gardaí said they felt threatened when he refused to put down the knife and that attempts at non-lethal methods of disarming him failed. The Nkencho family have said he was suffering from mental illness. The case is currently under investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

Speaking as the first anniversary approached, Mr Nkencho’s sister, Gloria, said she cannot believe a year has passed since his death.

“We are doing the best we can, but at this time of the year it is not easy. We have our first Christmas without George, so there isn’t the same joy in the house,” she said.

“We are going to be doing a candlelight service starting at St Brigid’s Church in Blanchardstown village and going to the garda station where we will have some speakers and a service as a reminder of what happened and saying that it should never happen again.”

A spokesman for Gsoc said it had hoped to complete its investigation before the anniversary, but that it will not be possible.

“Gsoc met with members of the Nkencho family and its representatives on December 1 to update them on the progress of its investigation into the death of George Nkencho in December 2020,” the spokesman said.

“It was able to confirm to the family that significant progress has been made in the investigation, which has been the fruit of extensive inquiries.

“It also indicated, however, that further work is required to ensure it concludes its examination of all lines of inquiry arising from its investigation to date.

“As such, while it had been hoped to conclude by the anniversary of Mr Nkencho’s death in December 2021, Gsoc informed the family that the demands of the investigation preclude this. In light of this, at a hearing of the Dublin City Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, December 14, Gsoc requested an adjournment of the inquest and accepted the Court’s suggestion of a six-month adjournment.

“Gsoc is very grateful to the Nkencho family for its engagement with us, during what continues to be a very difficult time for them.”

George Nkencho was fatally shot on December 30 last year

George Nkencho was fatally shot on December 30 last year

Gloria Nkencho said the family want the investigation to be carried out fully and properly, and as such are willing to give the investigators as much time as they need. “They want to do a thorough investigation and we don’t want it to be rushed. They are taking time because they want to cover all avenues. They should leave no stone unturned,” she said.

“Although we would have liked to have got a result by now, they said there is more ground to cover.

“We still hope justice will be done for George.”

The Nkencho family has also called on the Government for a public inquiry into George’s death and still thinks that should happen independently of the Gsoc investigation.

“We have not heard back, but we have to have faith that justice will be served,” Gloria Nkencho said.

Speaking about the public reaction to her brother’s death, Ms Nkencho said there were two sides to it. It was controversial, and some people were saying he deserved to die while others said he did not.

Some abusive letters were sent to the family home in the weeks following the shooting.

“We had lived in that house for over 10 years and been residents in Blanchardstown for close to 18 or 19 years,” Ms Nkencho said. “To receive the backlash we first received was shocking, but then we got loads of support from other organisations, so there are two sides to it.”

Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices