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Family of George Nkencho awaiting meeting with Garda watchdog

Family of George Nkencho awaiting meeting with Garda watchdog

By Cate McCurry, PA

The family of George Nkencho are still waiting for a meeting with the Garda watchdog a week after he was shot dead by armed gardaí.

Mr Nkencho, 27, was shot multiple times outside his home in Clonee, west Dublin, on Wednesday December 30th.

He was allegedly brandishing a knife and threatened gardaí before he was shot by members of Blanchardstown Garda Armed Support Unit.

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His relatives had been due to meet Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigators, but it was postponed. The family’s solicitor Phelim O’Neill said they are waiting for confirmation of a new date.

Friends of George Nkencho protest outside Blanchardstown Garda station (Niall Carson/PA)

Supporters and friends of the family have been demanding answers about the circumstances surrounding Mr Nkencho's death, holding protests outside Garda stations.

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Mr O’Neill said he did not know why the meeting was cancelled by GSOC, adding: “We haven’t heard anything yet but we are expecting correspondence from them today.”

The family has secured permission for an independent post-mortem examination. Mr O’Neill said it has been delayed due to travel restrictions around Covid-19, but they are hoping it will be carried out as soon as possible.

Protesters have been critical of gardaí and have spoken out against Ireland’s direct provision system.

Gardaí were called to a business premises in Hartstown on the Co Meath/Dublin border at 12.15pm last Wednesday.

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An Garda Síochána said there was a chase on foot and the man threatened officers with a knife.

“Members of the Armed Support Unit arrived at a scene in Manorfields Drive, Dublin 15,” the statement said.

“The Armed Support Unit were also threatened with a knife and implemented a graduated policing response where the use of less-than-lethal force options was initially administered in an effort to resolve the incident.

“The less-than-lethal use of force options were unsuccessful, and a number of shots were discharged from an official Garda firearm at approximately 12.35pm.”

It is understood that gardaí unsuccessfully used a Taser and pepper spray before the shots were fired.

Mr Nkencho was treated at the scene before being transferred to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, where he was pronounced dead.

The GSOC was notified of the incident and attended the scene.

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