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Dozens protest in Dublin after shooting of George Nkencho

Protesters gathered outside Pearse St Garda station and chanted ‘no justice, no peace’.

A GROUP OF up to 150 people have protested for the second consecutive day following the fatal shooting of George Nkencho.

Mr Nkencho (27) was shot multiple times by gardai outside his home in Clonee, west Dublin, on Wednesday.

Mr Nkencho was allegedly brandishing a knife and threatened gardai before he was shot by members of Blanchardstown Garda Armed Support Unit.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr Nkencho’s sister Gloria said he was “suffering from serious mental illness and those who knew him know the type of person he was, he was not a thug nor a criminal”.

On Friday, a group of approximately 150 people held a candlelit vigil before marching from the Spire on Dublin’s O’Connell street to Pearse street Garda station.

Protesters chanted “no justice, no peace”, “say his name, George Nkencho” and later, “five shots killed him” and “f*** the police”.

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Those gathered were dressed in black, wore face masks and largely adhered to social distancing measures.

Placards were held up with the words “black lives matter” and “thug is not a synonym for black”.

A range of people spoke at the gathering, most of them young people in their early 20s.

They were critical of gardai and also spoke out against Ireland’s direct provision system.

Approximately a dozen uniformed gardai were in attendance but kept their distance from the protesters, who remained peaceful throughout.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee yesterday said she understood the “concern and upset” the incident had caused.

She told RTE: “I think everybody, including the guards, understand the concern and the upset that is currently there. So they are actively engaging with the community.

“It is extremely important that we allow the process to take its course. GSOC (Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission) have already begun that investigation and obviously we need to ascertain all of the facts as to what happened.”

Writing on Twitter, McEntee said: “Gardai are engaging with the local community and I know they understand their concerns and anguish.

“We are fortunate to have very few fatalities related to policing in Ireland, but all are fully and independently investigated by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.

“GSOC is headed by a High Court judge, and their independent investigation has already begun into the events in Hartstown.”

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

In a statement, Garda 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 gardai 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. Investigations are continuing.