Supporters of George Nkencho believe gardaí should issue an apology over his fatal shooting.
everal hundred people gathered in Blanchardstown village in Dublin tonight for a candlelit vigil to remember Mr Nkencho, concluding two weeks of protests since his death.
They carried banners reading ‘Justice for George Nkencho’ and sang hymns, including Amazing Grace, as they made their way from St Brigid’s Church to Blanchardstown Garda Station at 5pm.
Some of those in attendance wore white t-shirts with six bloody bullet holes painted on the back.
Stephen Ng’ang’a, who attended the vigil with his daughter Stephanie (12), said gardaí should apologise.
“Blanchardstown being one of the communities that has a majority black community, we expect that the police would know how to handle black people and would know that aggravated force would not solve the situation.
“We will keep marching on, we want justice for George and we want it now.
“[The gardaí] should apologise for the extraordinary force because we have seen instances where they’ve had the same situation and they handled it differently,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by one of the organisers of the vigil, Emeka Ejezie.
“People have to be held accountable and there has to be some sort of responsibility as to what happened to George,” he said.
“If it was a mistake, someone needs to come out and say so.”
He said that an apology from gardaí would be a “start”.
“That’s the very least, a life has been taken.
“I’ve been here for nearly 20 years and this is not the Ireland that I’ve come to be a part of.”
Moezie Pilot is a friend of the family and was with Mr Nkencho’s mother when he died at Clonee.
“It was shocking,” he said.
“That is why we are here today, so that the gardaí can hear our voices and this can never happen again.”
A microphone and speaker were set up outside of the garda station on the Main Street.
Speaking to the congregation, Pastor Dare Adetuberu she said they should engage with the community.
“Black people, we have swagger. Let’s bring our positive energy to Ireland, let’s engage in the community, let’s engage in positive actions.
“We want to make sure this does not define this country, we want to make sure this country is an exemplary country for interracial relations,” he told the vigil.
Mr Nkencho (27) was shot by a member of the Armed Response Unit after an earlier incident at a shop in Hartstown in Clonee on December 30 in which is it alleged he had a knife.
He was followed back to his home in nearby Clonee by gardaí who told him to stop and put down the knife. He was shot after gardai used pepper spray and a taser.
Mr Nkencho was rushed to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown but died from his injuries.
Gardaí have said they tried to use non-lethal force first, as per protocol, and had feared for the safety of themselves and others when the armed garda fired his garda-issue weapon.
The investigation into Mr Nkencho’s shooting is continuing.