Family of George Nkencho to appeal decision not to prosecute gardaí involved in fatal shooting

Man (27) shot dead in front garden of his family’s home in Dublin 15 in 2020

The family of George Nkencho intends to appeal a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) not to prosecute gardaí involved in the fatal shooting of the 27-year-old outside his Dublin home in 2020.

The shooting was investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) and a file had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the DPP has decided not to prosecute.

Mr Nkencho was shot dead in the front garden of his family’s home in Clonee, Dublin 15, on December 30th, 2020, after a dispute during which he was armed with a knife.


He was shot a number of times by the Garda Armed Support Unit after he appeared to lunge at gardaí with the weapon in the aftermath of an alleged assault by him at a nearby shop.

The shooting followed an interaction between Mr Nkencho and gardaí, during which tasers and pepper spray were used in a bid to subdue him, the Garda said.

The dead man’s family has said he was suffering from mental health issues and has been highly critical of the level of force used on the day.

Mr Nkencho was the first person of colour ever fatally shot by a garda member.

The Nkencho family said they were “disappointed with the decision” not to prosecute, according to a statement issued through their solicitor, Phelim O’Neill.

“The family intend to appeal this decision and in the circumstances will not be making any further statements until this process has been concluded,” the statement said.

A statement from An Garda Síochána said it “notes the decision of the DPP” and would “await further information from Gsoc on its next steps before commenting further”.

“Commissioner Harris reiterates today his and the organisation’s sympathy with the family of George Nkencho”, the statement said.

An inquest into Mr Nkencho’s death has been repeatedly adjourned pending the conclusion of the inquiry by Gsoc, which investigates alleged garda wrongdoing, up to and including criminality.

Gsoc is also legally obliged to investigate an incident involving death or serious injury to any person at or around the time they have had dealings with gardaí.

“The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission can confirm that it has been notified by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of its decision not to direct a prosecution in the case of the tragic death of Mr George Nkencho,” a statement from Gsoc said.

“The incident was the subject of an independent criminal investigation by Gsoc, which concluded in June 2023 with the submission by Gsoc of an investigative file to the DPP”.

“Gsoc has noted the DPP’s decision, and has notified interested parties in the case, including the Nkencho family and Garda members involved”.

“While Gsoc can make no further comment at this time, it will continue to engage with the Nkencho family in the context of Coronial proceedings and any other statutory processes that may arise,” it said.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times