‘Another Way Would’ve Been Found’


A protest over the killing of George Nkencho outside Blanchardstown Garda Station in Dublin this morning

The Case of George Nkencho

If this boy had been more prudently
dropped into life on, say, a street
with trees that throw out their annual yellow
to make a welcome parade for the sun;
had as childhood neighbours a Circuit Court Judge
whose front door had no letter box,
a Garda Chief Inspector with an opinionated
and over-confident dog;
kicked a ball up and down summer evenings,
dead apart from the occasional well behaved bee,
with the boy next door (but one) who blossomed
into a political correspondent
and now gets to make up truth,
another way would’ve been found.

But for coming at Gardaí
with a chemical imbalance,
what some people are calling
a machete
and a totally inappropriate
post code,
the only sentence
was that ethically administered,
democratically accountable,
bolt action firing squad.

The eminent and learned
bottoms we employ to sit
on the inquiry into this
need not fret the task ahead of them.
For their report is already written.

Kevin Higgins

Earlier: Meanwhile, In Blanchardstown


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32 thoughts on “‘Another Way Would’ve Been Found’

  1. Brother Barnabas

    or had george nkencho been a middle class lad, his mental health would have been addressed – not left to fester and worsen on an interminable waiting list within the public health system

    1. Junkface

      Good point. Mental health issues and support need more investment all over.

      bit of a silly poem really, its assuming a lot that we don’t know yet.

      1. Gabby

        + 1 We don’t know a lot yet about the machete confrontation and how the Gardai responded during the vital minutes before the shooting.
        A mentally damaged man, John Carthy, was shot dead by Gardai outside a cottage in Abbeylara in April 2000. This raised angry questions in the Dail, opinion-investigation pieces in the media and an enquiry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_John_Carthy

    2. Micko

      How do you know he wasn’t middle class?

      Whatever middle class means?

      You sound like you think he was lower class there brother.

      1. Darren

        That is a clever trick with the oppression by class system. If you call it there is someone always relating yours back as if a comparative study is called for. Its just how it is. I think the poet isn’t leaping too far to say .. well at least something about a pretty incredible incident of state homicide in an Irish housing estate. If this happened in … what would happen? It not happening before anywhere ever is proof that it is not any sort of open and shut case but as the poet points out in his final few lines, there is a lack of trust in how such matters are reviewed and in who makes those assessments. The cries of justice done, which for a few days found a concerning level of support, seemed now to have been replaced by honest reflection. But as ever it’s not the identity but the attitude that should be questioned. It’s a harsh lesson. Let’s hope it has been learned and the gardai publicly state their failure to apply standard procedures and engage beyond all other measures with compassion , before ever coming to a me or him scenario with a challenged citizen who has none of the same professional training and all the reason in the world to fear the fear of others who do.

      2. Bort

        The semi detached, 1100 square foot, 3 bed, 3 bath, large back gardened houses houses of Manorfield that go for about 320k sound pretty good for me. Hartstown is the burbs, it’s like Beverly Hills compared to some estates in Dublin. Are all “middle class” people walking aroun d of sound mind? This whole thing is a tragedy but this “poem” is fake news. 27 year olds are not “boys” either.

        1. Micko

          Yep exactly.

          Not bad living if you can get it.

          But let’s label him as “lower class” to fit the narrative.

  2. Anonomanom

    Complete tripe. We all have to deal with poo in life, we don’t go on violent sprees. If he had mental health issues I’d love to know was he wearing a big sign so the garda knew this, if not was there a garda there who knew is personal circumstances, if not then wtf do people keep referring to the mental health issues as if the garda should have just known all about it.

    1. ReproBertie

      On the day it happened it was reported that the gardaí were aware of his mental health issues.

      Now, granted, there have been a lot of totally false reports on George’s life and history so we can’t say for sure that the reports on the garda knowledge are accurate.

  3. scottser

    Leon Rosselson said it better with Palaces of Gold:

    If the sons of company directors,
    And judges’ private daughters,
    Had to got to school in a slum school,
    Dumped by some joker in a damp back alley,
    Had to herd into classrooms cramped with worry,
    With a view onto slagheaps and stagnant pools,
    Had to file through corridors grey with age,
    And play in a crackpot concrete cage.

    Chorus (repeated after each verse):
    Buttons would be pressed,
    Rules would be broken.
    Strings would be pulled
    And magic words spoken.
    Invisible fingers would mould
    Palaces of gold.

    If prime ministers and advertising executives,
    Royal personages and bank managers’ wives
    Had to live out their lives in dank rooms,
    Blinded by smoke and the foul air of sewers.
    Rot on the walls and rats in the cellars,
    In rows of dumb houses like mouldering tombs.
    Had to bring up their children and watch them grow
    In a wasteland of dead streets where nothing will grow.

    I’m not suggesting any kind of a plot,
    Everyone knows there’s not,
    But you unborn millions might like to be warned
    That if you don’t want to be buried alive by slagheaps,
    Pit-falls and damp walls and rat-traps and dead streets,
    Arrange to be democratically born
    The son of a company director
    Or a judge’s fine and private daughter.

  4. Eoineyo

    Amazing how only a few days ago the same people who are/were sharing lies about this man have now gone completely silent on mental health.
    We should probably need to wait another couple of days before they are back with their poison all over social media crying about lockdowns, masks and mental health with their made up stats about test failures, oxygen levels and the economy.
    They really are lowest this country has to offer but hide behind the tricolour calling themselves patriots because they video themselves beside someone sleeping rough and use them to tell all the halfwits that hang off their every word that it’s someone with a different skin colour is the reason for all their woes.

  5. curmudgeon

    I said it then and I’ll say it again we need MANDATORY BODYCAMS FOR ARMED RESPONSE GARDAÍ

  6. Gringo

    Hitting the nail on the head, as usual, Kevin. The RUC/British army influence is rearing it’s nasty little head.

  7. Liam Deliverance


    No shortage of non-lethal options and AGS should be carrying some of these in patrol cars.

    Bean Bag rounds have a reputation for being extremely painful, I wonder would a beanbag hit on top of a bean bag hit be enough to make you drop your knife and surrender. Pepper spray was used here but there are stronger varieties, I can’t imagine a person to keep going with stronger than normal pepper spray in your eyes, ears, mouth and on your skin. If you cannot see how can you attack another.

    Also I wonder would certain martial artists have the ability to disarm and bring down a person with a knife with minimal risk to themselves, if so could AGS train their ERU in the skill.

    Point being that firing live rounds should be the very last resort, the mind is fragile thing, anyone could crack under certain circumstances.

    RIP George Nkencho.

    1. MacGafraidh

      Yeah but sure irrespective of the strength of the pepper spray you still need to be in close contact to get full effect.. Given he had a fairly sizeable machete and was waving it around, I really don’t think the strength or variety of the pepper spray matters all too much.

      Also… If there are issuea with the mental health service, why are they marching on the guards and through blanch. Get over to the HSE HQ and let them know they failed.. The guards (seemingly) followed protocol.

      1. Liam Deliverance

        Depends on what you mean by close contact, some pepper sprays are designed to work at 25 to 30 feet.

    2. ReproBertie

      “I wonder would certain martial artists have the ability to disarm and bring down a person with a knife with minimal risk to themselves”
      No, they would not.

  8. Lilly

    ‘The eminent and learned
    bottoms we employ to sit
    on the inquiry into this
    need not fret the task ahead of them.
    For their report is already written.’

    Don’t you think is a bit unfair to the legal profession, Kevin. Do you know a single lawyer? Some of them are decent people who are perfectly capable of objective inquiry. Do you suppose that LegalCoffeeDrinker who posts here occasionally is bought and paid for. And where was your poem for Colm Horkan?

  9. Kingfisher

    Where are these armed support unit members trained?
    Does their training include de-escalation?
    Was an ambulance called by gardaí if the gardaí were familiar with the man’s mental health issues?
    Are there local community gardaí and are these trained in mediation and handling mental crises?
    Is there any sanction for starting or sharing racist lies online?

    1. Mr Sinister

      Why does the location of their training matter?
      How do you know they didn’t de-escalate the situation or at least attempt to?
      What would an ambulance have done that the guards wouldn’t? You do know they are manned by DFB staff, and not by qualified mental health workers, yeah?
      Again, what would they have done, apart from maybe lose a limb or end up with life-altering scars?
      Yes, there is. There should also be sanctions for making up lies to paint the guards as a bunch of racists, or to paint your violent family member as some sort of peaceful beatnik.

  10. Nullzero

    Bloody hell.

    How is this narrative pushed as truth?

    All the usual clowns waffling on about nasty racist Ireland that takes in asylum seekers and houses them in expensive homes in decent areas whilst Irish working families languish in hotel rooms.

    We’re so excited to be just as racist as America, something must be done about the institutional racism of Ireland.

    What a load of nonsense.

    You are creating it all by yourselves however, it didn’t exist but you are making it manifest, bravo.

    1. Scundered

      Welcome to the new wave of left wing politics, victimhood is the currency. Facts and statistics don’t matter, just your feelings, with social media reaffirming the mobs ill informed political intentions by serving them the same one dimensional narrative.

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