Local priests have called for a thorough, transparent investigation and calm among the community following the fatal shooting by gardaí of a 27-year-old man in Clonee, Dublin last week.
Fr Mathew Binoy SVD of Mountview and Blakestown Parish told The Irish Catholic there is “a lot of tension in the area” after George Nkencho was shot by armed gardaí.
“My message to the community would be for calm. There are people seeing this as nationalism versus migrants coming in, people have come to make this place their home,” he said, adding the situation “is quite sensitive”.
“People are obviously very hurt. There should be a very genuine inquiry into why it happened in such a brutal way, people need to get an explanation why it was so sad and tragic in the end, I think people need to be reassured. In this area we have a lot of migrants in the parish we look after, a big percentage of foreign nationals, of Christians and other faiths.”
He said there must be assurances from authorities that there will be a “very thorough investigation and the truth be brought out and truth be told to people”.
Fr Binoy, who is originally from India but has spent his whole priestly ministry in Ireland, added: “At the moment I can see a lot of people speaking for and against, I think that is going to further divide the local community. I’m calling for calm.”
Another priest of the parish, Fr George Adzato SVD originally from Ghana who has been ministering in Ireland for six years, reiterated the call for calm saying: “Since there are two different investigations ongoing now, the best thing is there should be calm and then we see the outcome of the investigations. The guards are doing their own investigation and the commission is also doing an investigation to see why there was killing so I believe there should be calm and at the end we’ll see what comes out.”
Before the shooting Mr Nkencho punched a staff member of the local Eurospar before drawing a knife. By the time he had walked home a large number of gardaí were at the scene. An Garda released a statement saying attempts to subdue him using two tasers and pepper spray proved unsuccessful. It’s been reported Mr Nkencho was suffering with mental health issues.