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fatal shooting Sister of George Nkencho says he 'needed help, not bullets' as family demand public inquiry into his death

George Nkencho's sister today handed a letter into Leinster House calling for a public inquiry into his death.

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George Nkencho

George Nkencho

George Nkencho

The family of George Nkencho, who was shot dead after a confrontation with armed gardai outside his west Dublin home on December 30, has demanded a full public inquiry into his death.

Mr Nkencho (27) was armed with a knife and had been involved in a confrontation at a shop in Hartsown before being followed home to nearby Clonee by gardai where he was shot in his front garden after his family had pleaded that he be left alone.

Gardai said they felt threatened when he refused to put down the knife and that attempts at non-lethal methods of disarming him had failed.

The Nkencho family have said George was suffering from mental illness.

“He needed help, not bullets,” his sister Gloria said today as she handed a letter into Leinster House calling for a public inquiry.

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Emmanuel and Gloria, George Nkencho’s brother and sister, alongside family and friends who gathered to release balloons (Niall Carson/PA)

Emmanuel and Gloria, George Nkencho’s brother and sister, alongside family and friends who gathered to release balloons (Niall Carson/PA)

Emmanuel and Gloria, George Nkencho’s brother and sister, alongside family and friends who gathered to release balloons (Niall Carson/PA)

The case is currently under investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

“I never thought I would be standing here in these circumstances, addressing the public about such a tragedy that has happened to my family. This is an unimaginable pain I do not wish upon anyone. The death of my brother has caused a vacuum in my home. My mother described it as a wound that can never heal,” she said.

“My family and I are forced to relive our trauma every day when we walk past his room or walk down the stairs to where we stood as he was shot and killed. We see the bullet holes in the window of our door.”

“This shouldn't have happened. George did not deserve to die. I can stand here and continue to describe the constant anguish and mental trauma that my family and I endure every day but I won’t. What I will say is this should have never happened. My brother was a person, not an animal.”

“He is not here to speak for himself so we must. We need a full public, independent investigation into his death. We need truth and we need justice. We need the public to come together and demand what is right. This is not a time for us to be divided. A life was taken. A life that mattered and meant something,” she added.

Gloria Nkencho said her family wants to ensure that his death is not in vain, and never happens to another family again and the most vulnerable people in our society are given the care that they need.

“This is not a time for divide. We as a community and a society should focus on the fact that a life was taken. It is not black against white. We are Irish. We are a community,” she added.

Former TD for Dublin West Ruth Coppinger, SPBP TD Mick Barry, and local councillor John Burtchaell were present to support the Nkencho family.

“We are here today to call on the minister for justice to open up a public inquiry into the shooting of George Nkencho. We believe the GSOC investigation has serious defects and warrants a public inquiry,” said Ruth Coppinger.

“In the six weeks since the shocking death of George Nkencho, GSOC is failing to meet any of the basic national or international legal or human rights standards required of an investigation into a Garda killing.”

“Key witnesses, including the Armed Response Unit officer believed to have fired the shots, are not thought to have yet been interviewed six weeks. That’s the information the family has.”

“Vital pieces of evidence, including all bullet casings, have not been accounted for or secured; and crucial video footage of the shooting that was widely shared hasn’t been yet authenticated and the people who took those videos haven’t been tracked down,” she added.

TD Mick Barry said national and international attention was focussed on the killing of Mr Nkencho.

He said a public inquiry was held in the past after the shooting of 27 year-old John Carthy in Abbeylara Co Longford 20 years ago.


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