Blanchardstown to get first local diversity forum

by Kim O Leary

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has told the Dáil that the first local diversity forum in the country will be set up in Blanchardstown in Dublin in the wake of the controversy over the shooting of George Nkencho, writes Kim O’Leary.

Mr Nkencho was shot dead by the Garda Armed Support Unit outside his family home in Clonee last December.

The Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission is investigating, but his family have called for a public inquiry. Ms Humphreys said that agreement had been reached to set up the forum, which would help to create closer connections between An Garda Síochána and the black Irish community.

The Minister was responding to People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny who called for a public inquiry into Mr Nkencho’s shooting

Speaking about the establishment of the local diversity forum, Ms Humphreys said: “I very much welcome this development which I understand, would be the first local diversity forum established”.

A decade ago while a forum did not exist there was strong involvement of Garda ethnic liaison officers with the local black community. There are currently 281 trained Garda diversity officers (GDOs) nationwide.

Following up on an initiative by Ms McEntee to establish the forum, Ms Humphreys said she had written to the Nkencho family to inform them that the forum is to be established.

Ms Humphreys added that the matter of Mr Nkencho’s death was being fully and independently investigated by GSOC, which had begun a criminal investigation under Section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act.

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