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Family of George Nkencho call for forum between minority communities and Gardai

Mr Nkencho, 27, died outside his home after being shot multiple times by members of a Garda armed support unit while allegedly brandishing a knife.

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(Ruth Coppinger/PA)

(Ruth Coppinger/PA)

(Ruth Coppinger/PA)

The family of George Nkencho have called for a forum to be established between Gardai and minority communities following a meeting with the Justice Minister.

They have reissued calls for an independent inquiry into his death and highlighted concerns with the ongoing Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation.

Mr Nkencho, 27, died outside his Dublin home in December after being shot multiple times by members of a Garda armed support unit while allegedly brandishing a knife.

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Gloria Nkencho, sister of George Nkencho who was shot dead by gardai, speaks to the media during a press briefing outside Leinster House in February (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gloria Nkencho, sister of George Nkencho who was shot dead by gardai, speaks to the media during a press briefing outside Leinster House in February (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Gloria Nkencho, sister of George Nkencho who was shot dead by gardai, speaks to the media during a press briefing outside Leinster House in February (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Nkencho was suffering from mental health issues at the time.

Speaking on Wednesday, his sister Gloria said: “We thank Minister McEntee for agreeing to meet family members today.

“We were very anxious to bring home to her the huge loss of my brother, George, and for my parents the devastating loss of their son and our burning  need for justice and truth.”

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Ms Nkencho called for a forum to be set up between black and minority communities and Gardai.

She said it should “ensure any issues of racial bias are addressed, where the Gardai interact with and are accountable to the communities they serve”.

She added: “We put it to the minister that the Blanchardstown area is the most diverse in the country and will be a test case for how the Gardai relate with black people and minorities into the future.

“Our family have been patient and not jumped to conclusions about the role played by race in George’s killing.”

The family have reiterated their calls for an independent inquiry into the killing.

They have raised a number of issues with the GSOC investigation, including an eight week delay in interviewing family members and that the garda who fired the shots remains on duty.

They also say Gardai told them George was shot five times, while their own post mortem concluded he was shot six times.

Gloria said: “All of these mean the GSOC investigation has already not met the standards of the European Court of Human Rights.

“We believe the only way to get justice and truth is a properly resourced public inquiry that explores the role of mental health, class and race in Garda actions that day.”

His father Francis Nkencho said: “Our family are traumatised and heartbroken by the shooting of George. Nothing can ever heal that.

“The only thing that can bring any closure is for a full public investigation into George’s killing.

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A picture of George Nkencho held at a candlelit vigil in Blanchardstown in the days after his shooting (Niall Carson/PA)

A picture of George Nkencho held at a candlelit vigil in Blanchardstown in the days after his shooting (Niall Carson/PA)

PA

A picture of George Nkencho held at a candlelit vigil in Blanchardstown in the days after his shooting (Niall Carson/PA)

“Any Garda being investigated should not still be working — it pains us that the Garda who fired the shots that day has not been suspended while the investigation is on but still has access to police colleagues, computers etc.

“We never want to see such a  tragedy happen to any family from any background ever again.

“We are a law-abiding, peaceful family rearing our children like everybody else.

“That is why we asked the Minister for a forum that meets with the black community regularly, deals with any issues of racism and prevents negative experiences.”


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