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'Tragic incident' UN group calls for commission of inquiry into George Nkencho’s death

Further, we are concerned that racial profiling may have led to this tragic incident if it is juxtaposed with past incidences of the Garda Siochana involving young people of African descent in Ireland.”

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Childhood pic of George

Childhood pic of George

Childhood pic of George

A group established here after the UN declared 2015 to 2024 the decade for people of African descent is calling for an independent commission of inquiry into the death of George Nkencho at the hands of gardai.

The International Decade for People of African Descent Ireland (IDPADI) has worked with the Department of Justice to implement the UN project in Ireland.

In a statement released today, it called on Justice Minister Helen McEntee to set up an independent commission of inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Nkencho, to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

“In this regard, we call upon the envisaged independent commission to engage IDPADI in its investigations and deliberations,” the group said.

“Further, we are concerned that racial profiling may have led to this tragic incident if it is juxtaposed with past incidences of the Garda Siochana involving young people of African descent in Ireland.”

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Flowers and a damaged window at the home of George Nkencho in Clonee, west Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Flowers and a damaged window at the home of George Nkencho in Clonee, west Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Flowers and a damaged window at the home of George Nkencho in Clonee, west Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Nkencho (27) was shot by a team of armed gardaí as he walked back into his home at Manorfields Drive, in west Dublin, after an earlier incident at a shop in Hartstown in which he allegedly threatened staff with a knife.

He was followed to his house by gardaí and refused to stop or drop the knife. Gardaí attempted to use a Taser and pepper spray on Mr Nkencho before firing five shots at him.

“We are concerned that not all methods to avert lethal force were exhausted in the above fatal incident,” the IDPADI said.

“We find it unsettling and are left with doubt whether the ultimate force used to take away the life of George Nkencho was proportionate to the threat at hand, considering that more than a dozen Gardai were involved.”

The group said it was disturbed by the fact George Nkencho was “not only shot at within the precinct of his home, but that lethal shots were fired.”

An Garda Síochána said they can make no comment at this time.

“The fatal shooting of George Nkencho is currently under investigation by the independent Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC),” a statement to Independent.ie said.

A statement from GSOC said it was carrying out an independent investigation into the death of Mr NKencho “in accordance with the State’s obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

“The question of an independent commission of inquiry is a matter for the Minister for Justice and the Government,” they added.

A spokesperson for the Justice Minister said: “Minister McEntee has extended her deepest sympathies to all those impacted by the tragic event in Hartstown last week, and in particular the family of George Nkencho.

"Any fatal shooting is deeply distressing, and the local community are experiencing real trauma as a result of these events.

“The shooting is of course being fully investigated by the independent Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), which is chaired by a High Court judge.

“This is the case in every incident involving a member of An Garda Síochána that results in the death of a person.

“It would not be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of the GSOC investigation into this incident which must be allowed to take its course. Such incidents are very rare in Ireland, thankfully, but all are fully and independently investigated.”

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