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'We won't forget', family pledge at George Nkencho funeral


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Farewell: George Nkencho’s family and friends gather at Mulhuddart Cemetery, Dublin, yesterday for his burial. Photo: Gerry Mooney (Photographer allowed to be at graveside by Nkencho family)

Farewell: George Nkencho’s family and friends gather at Mulhuddart Cemetery, Dublin, yesterday for his burial. Photo: Gerry Mooney (Photographer allowed to be at graveside by Nkencho family)

Farewell: George Nkencho’s family and friends gather at Mulhuddart Cemetery, Dublin, yesterday for his burial. Photo: Gerry Mooney (Photographer allowed to be at graveside by Nkencho family)

Mourners at the funeral of George Nkencho were asked to remember him for who he was - and not what was said about him after his death.

Mr Nkencho (27) was shot dead by gardaí outside his home in Clonee, Dublin, on December 30 last year.

His funeral mass took place yesterday in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Huntstown, Dublin.

The service was limited to 10 people in line with the Government's Covid-19 restrictions. However, organisers had appointed stewards to enforce social distancing among mourners who gathered outside the church.

As the mass opened, George's sister Gloria addressed those present.

"This is in memory of my brother," she said, "for everything he stood for, for all that he believed in.

"He is welcomed into the bosom of the lord. He is at peace. He is happy. Finally he will be at peace.

"Please remember George not for what they said about him but for who he is and who he will forever be in our hearts: a brother, a son, a nephew, a best friend, a cousin, a teammate, a classmate, a protector, a partner.

"He is at peace."

After the service, Mr Nkencho's body was taken to Mulhuddart Cemetery for burial.

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His family allowed Sunday Independent photographer Gerry Mooney to capture the moment he was laid to rest.

Mr Nkencho's death is the subject of an inquiry by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

Flyers were given to mourners outside the church. They read: "Farewell George. We won't forget. We'll stand for justice and truth."

Mr Nkencho's funeral had been delayed by two post-mortem examinations - one carried out by the State and one conducted at the request of the family.

Mr Nkencho was shot dead by the Garda Armed Support Unit outside his home following an incident in which a shop worker was assaulted in a supermarket.

A stand-off between Mr Nkencho, who was carrying a kitchen knife, and gardaí ensued and continued as he walked home.

Following his death, Mr Nkencho's family said he had been suffering from mental health issues in the months before his death.

In a statement, gardaí said officers had engaged in a graduated response to the incident, initially issuing verbal commands before using pepper spray and tasers to subdue Mr Nkencho.

However, after those earlier tactics did not bring the incident to a peaceful end, gardaí followed Mr Nkencho to his home where a stand-off ensued in the front garden, ending when the shots were fired.


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