‘It’s extremely upsetting and traumatic’ — Helen McEntee responds to Garda shooting of George Nkencho
‘It’s extremely upsetting and traumatic’ — Helen McEntee responds to Garda shooting of George Nkencho© Provided by Extra.ie
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has responded to the fatal shooting by Gardai of 27-year-old George Nkencho.
On Wednesday, Mr Nkencho was fatally shot by armed Gardai outside his family home in Manorfields Drive, Clonee, Dublin, after he approached them armed with a knife.
Mr Nkencho, whose family is originally from Nigeria, was followed to Manorfields Drive by Gardai on foot and in vehicles after he was involved in two separate public order incidents at Hartstown Shopping Centre.© Provided by Extra.ie Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has responded to the fatal shooting by Gardai of 27-year-old George Nkencho. Pic: Julien Behal/PA Wire
Gardai encouraged Mr Nkencho to drop his weapon, and used non-lethal force to restrain him. However, at approximately 12.35pm, a number of shots were discharged from a Garda weapon, wounding Mr Nkencho fatally.
The events of Wednesday afternoon remain under Garda investigation, and an inquiry will also be launched by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.
Responding to the shooting of Mr Nkencho on RTE’s Morning Ireland on Thursday, Ms McEntee said: ‘Yesterday’s events were extremely traumatic for everybody involved. Obviously this is an extremely upsetting loss, George’s life, it’s a tragedy for his family and I want to express my sympathies to them and to everybody impacted by yesterday’s events.© Provided by Extra.ie The events of Wednesday afternoon remain under Garda investigation, and an inquiry will also be launched by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
‘This is not something that we see happen in this country very often, but what will happen now is that there will be an investigation, there will be a GSOC investigation into what happened and what has taken place, while at the same time Gardai are engaged with local communities because obviously they understand the concerns and the anguish that has been raised.
‘I really can’t say anything more than that there will be an investigation here, this matter will be looked at, but obviously it’s extremely upsetting and traumatic for everybody involved and I want to again extend my sympathies to everybody who has been impacted, particularly his family.’
It is suggested that Mr George Nkencho had a history of mental illness and that An Gardai Siochana had been called to his home on several occasions relating to his mental health issues. I would suggest the media investigate this and if mental health applies then please look at the killing of John Carthy in Abbeylara, a man who was bipolar, which also was known to An Gardai at that time. Mental Health is inadequately provided for by the HSE and stigma and non provision of services make it a national disgrace leaving people with fear and anxiety that can cause problems within our society. John Carthy – see below:-
Carthy family calls for public inquiry into killing
Originally Published / Thursday, 12 Oct 2000
The family of John Carthy have again called for a public inquiry into his death at Abbeylara, County Longford in April. The jury at the inquest into the killing agreed a statement of fact, saying they are satisfied that John Carthy was shot dead at Tunnymore, Abbeylara, on the 20 April by Gardaí. They declined to issue a verdict on circumstances surrounding that incident.
Earlier a friend of John Carthy, whom he phoned during the siege, told the inquest the 27-year-old had told him he had no intention of shooting anybody and only wanted to speak to his solicitor. Marie Carthy, John Carthy’s, sister told Longford Coroners Court that Gardaí had refused her permission to speak to her brother through a megaphone, as others had done during the siege. Gardaí had however, assisted her in trying to contact him by mobile phone, but it went unanswered. Breaking down in tears while giving her evidence, Marie Carty said that she thought her brother had been pressurised by the presence of Garda and that she wanted them to pull back a bit.
Tom Walsh, a childhood friend told how he managed top speak to John, but that he had told him he feared would either be locked up in a mental hospital or would do time. Tom Walsh also thought that constant dialogue by the Gardaí to John Carty had in his opinion “been driving John mad.” Marie Carthy also stated that she thought media coverage of the siege had affected his state of mind.
Sergeant Daniel Monaghan from Granard garda station gave evidence about how he received a phone call from a friend of John Carthy’s, asking him to get a solicitor. In his evidence, Sergeant Monaghan said that he was asked to find a solicitor named Mick or John Finucane on April 20 at about 2.30pm. He tried to find the solicitor but failed.
The siege of Abbeylara began and ended in just over 24 hours. The day before John Carthy was shot dead he did not go to work. He suffered from bouts of depression and he appeared out of sorts to his family. John had arranged to meet his psychiatrist, Dr David Shanley, at 2pm the next day in Dublin. He never kept that appointment just after 6pm on Holy Thursday he was dead.
John had moved back to Abbeylara from Galway to help his mother Rosie move into a new bungalow. It was on the same site as the old family cottage he later barricaded himself into. On the afternoon of Ash Wednesday John became extremely agitated. He took his legally held shotgun into the garden and fired two shots in the air. His distraught mother ran to her sister Nancy’s house two doors away.
A short time later two Gardaí arrived from nearby Granard. John took a shot a the windscreen of their squad car. Later they told the Carthy family they were well clear of the car and John had never tried to shoot them. Nonetheless it was a dramatic escalation. The controversial decision was taken to send in the elite Garda Emergency Response Unit and the siege of Abbeylara began.
Throughout the following 20 hours John Carthy fired periodically at Gardaí. They claim he spurned all efforts at negotiation. Just after 6pm John Carthy walked out of his house ignoring Garda requests to drop his gun. The Emergency Response Unit opened fire and shot him at least four times. John Carthy dropped to the ground and died almost immediately.