GEORGE NKENCHO’S family have paid tribute to a “great friend, brother and son” during a memorial held near the 27-year-old's home where he was shot and killed.
Nkencho died on December 30, following a tense standoff with armed Gardai outside his family’s home in west Dublin.
Friends and family gathered for the special commemoration of his life.
A minute’s silence was held while balloons were also released in the colours of George’s favourite team, Manchester United.
Several speeches were made with George’s siblings sharing some of their fondest memories of their brother before his name was read out 21 times.
The Nkencho family also paid tribute to the network of friends and extended family who have supported them during this most difficult of times.
His sister Gloria said: “The one thing that I’ve realised in all of this is life is a gift. Every day we stand here it’s a gift. It is a gift to be breathing. If you are still breathing, no matter what problems you’re facing, what challenges are coming, you can survive it.”
Nkencho was shot multiple times by armed officers outside his home.
It followed an incident in a nearby supermarket where Nkencho allegedly assaulted a member of staff before threatening his colleagues with a knife.
He reportedly proceeded to threaten several unarmed Garda and staff at a local post office before making his way home.
Garda officers insist that the use of deadly force came after they had failed to de-escalate the situation using a taser and pepper spray.
A criminal investigation is underway, after the shooting sparked angry protests in Dublin.
Several of Nkencho’s friends and siblings chose to question the deadly use of force while speaking at the memorial.
Nkencho had no prior criminal convictions and had battled mental health problems in the years prior to his death.
His brother Emmanuel told mourners: “I wish that day had played out a different scenario than what I witnessed. I personally think there’s many other ways that the scenario could have played out, I wish it did.”
"I wish, I wish that we could have seen him right before any of this happened because I know me or one of my siblings would have been able to talk to him, to speak to him,” he said.
His friend Paddy meanwhile described Nkencho as “a beautiful guy, a great friend, a great brother, a great son."
“Please, please everybody here don’t give up on this. Let’s fight. Let’s keep going. We need to get justice for George. Black lives matter. George’s life mattered.”