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Justice is still a long way off for George Nkencho and family even months after his death

DUBLIN: Justice is still a long way off for George Nkencho, who was shot dead by Gardai, and his family. Even months after the incident, the Garda Sochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation has not reached anywhere. George’s family has repeatedly demanded justice, but no action has been taken by the government or authorities so far.

In this context, George’s sister Gloria Nkencho and father Francis Nkencho demanded the establishment of a special forum between Gardaí, blacks and minority communities. They made the request after a meeting with Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

George’s family has also expressed concerns to the Justice Minister regarding the GSOC investigation. George Nkencho, 27, was shot dead by Gardai outside his Dublin home in December 2020. Nkencho, who was suffering from mental health issues, was shot by members of a Garda armed support unit after allegedly brandishing a knife.

His sister Gloria reveals that a different social situation exists in the Blanchardstown area where the incident took place, which is different from Ireland. She says minority-black racism among the people is very high here.

Gloria said that a forum between black and minority communities and Garda must be established to “ensure any issues of racial bias are addressed, where the Gardaí interact with and are accountable to the communities they serve”.

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

The family urged the government to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the murder. The family points out several issues with the GSOC investigation. “All of these mean the GSOC investigation has already not met the standards of the European Court of Human Rights,” Gloria said.

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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