George Nkencho’s funeral Mass to take place on Saturday

Man (27) shot dead by gardaí outside his home will be buried at Mulhuddart Cemetery

George Nkencho, who was shot dead by gardaí in December, is be buried on Saturday in Dublin.

Mr Nkencho (27) was fatally shot by officers from the Armed Support Unit (ASU) on December 30th in Clonee after threatening people with a knife and assaulting a shop worker. He was suffering from severe mental illness at the time.

A funeral Mass will take place at noon at the Church of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus in Huntstown before burial in Mulhuddart Cemetery.

The funeral will be restricted to 10 mourners under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. A group close to the Nkencho family are co-ordinating on how to accommodate others who may wish to pay their respects.

This may involve the service being live-streamed on the internet, said Ken McCue of Sports Against Racism.

Mr Nkencho’s funeral had been delayed by two postmortems – one carried out by the State and one by a private pathologist conducted at the request of the family.

Mr Nkencho moved from Nigeria to Ireland with his parents as a young child.

It is understood the Nkencho family had considered burying George in Nigeria but finances and Covid-19 restrictions made this impossible.

A Garda Ombudsman (Gsoc) investigation into Mr Nkencho’s shooting is ongoing. Members of his family have also called for a public inquiry to be held.

Mr Nkencho was shot dead by the Garda Armed Support Unit outside his home after he assaulted a shop worker in a nearby supermarket, and an altercation with gardaí continued over a distance through a housing estate and towards his home. He was armed with a kitchen knife and had, his family have said, been suffering from mental health issues in the preceding months.

A video of the shooting outside the Nkencho family home recorded five shots being fired and appeared to show him lunge at gardaí in the front garden of the house.

The Garda said officers engaged in a graduated response to the threat, first 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.

Lawyers for the Nkencho family have questioned what they say is the slow pace of the Gsoc investigation. On Monday they contacted Gsoc asking for an update.

“It’s really is moving at a snail’s pace,” said solicitor Phelim O’Neill on Monday.

Mr Nkencho's death was followed by two weeks of protests outside Blanchardstown Garda station and racist abuse being directed at his family.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times