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George Nkencho
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Inquest hears GSOC have compiled draft report on shooting of George Nkencho by Gardaí

GSOC said it was likely that the file would be forwarded to the DPP who will decide if criminal charges should be brought in relation to Mr Nkencho’s death.

AN INQUEST HAS heard that a draft report on the killing of a young man by Gardaí in west Dublin two years ago has been compiled by investigators with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

A brief sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court today heard an update on the progress of the investigation by GSOC into the death of George Nkencho (27) who was fatally wounded by members of the Garda Armed Support Unit outside his family home at Manorfields Drive, Clonee, Co Dublin on 30 December, 2020.

He was formally pronounced dead a short time later at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown with a post-mortem confirming he died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.

The inquest had been adjourned on a number of previous occasions as GSOC said criminal proceedings in relation to Mr Nkencho’s death were being contemplated.

The lead GSOC investigator, Stuart Duguid, told the court’s senior coroner, Myra Cullinane, that the investigation was ongoing but a draft report on the incident had been submitted for internal review within GSOC.

Duguid said the review could lead to further matters needing to be examined before a final report could be forwarded to GSOC’s commissioners.

He stressed that because the report was subject to review, the investigation could not be considered complete.

Duguid said the timeframe for when the report would be submitted to GSOC’s commissioners was dependent on any actions recommended by the review of the draft report.

He said he was unable to say how long that might take.

However, the GSOC investigator said it was likely that the file would be forwarded to the DPP who will decide if criminal charges should be brought in relation to Mr Nkencho’s death.

Dr Cullinane granted an application sought by Duguid for a further six-month adjournment of the inquest.

Counsel for Mr Nkencho’s family, Morgan Shelley BL, asked if it was possible for a shorter adjournment so his relatives could be updated on the progress of the investigation.

Dr Cullinane agreed to adjourn the case until 15 June next year but indicated she would correspond with GSOC in March 2023 to see if an update could be provided at that stage.

The fatal shooting occurred after a stand-off developed between Mr Nkencho and armed Gardaí at his family home when the deceased refused to put away a kitchen knife.

The incident occurred shortly after Mr Nkencho had assaulted a shop assistant at a nearby Eurospar store.

His family claim he was suffering from mental health issues for several months.

It is believed Gardaí were unaware that Mr Nkencho had returned to his family home and were fearful that he posed a threat to the occupants of the property when the decision was taken to use their weapons.

At a previous hearing of the inquest last year, Mr Nkencho’s family called on the coroner to conduct a wide examination of his death to establish if it was linked to racial profiling and discrimination in the context of the shooting “of a black man at the hands of white police officers.”

Speaking after the hearing today, the deceased’s mother, Blessing Nkencho, said her family were not happy about the delay in progressing the investigation.

Ms Nkencho, who was accompanied by a large group of family members as well as a film crew, remarked: “It’s now almost two years and we’ve had no information regarding the guard who shot George and now it’s been adjourned for another six months.”

“We know they’re doing their best but it is very difficult for us,” she added.

Author
Seán McCárthaigh