Can GSOC investigate conduct of off-duty or retired gardaí?


Sometimes. A complaint against a garda member can be admitted if it concerns conduct off-duty which would be likely to bring discredit on the Garda Síochána. Investigations following referral, or initiated in the public interest, can look into the conduct of off-duty gardaí.

Former gardaí

GSOC can admit and investigate complaints against former gardaí.

Because the Discipline Regulations no longer apply to them, it may not make sense to undertake (or continue) a disciplinary investigation. However, any allegation of criminal behaviour by a serving garda, who has since retired or resigned, can be investigated and a file sent to the DPP as normal.

Off-duty gardaí

  • A complaint regarding the conduct of an off-duty garda member may be admitted if the alleged conduct, if proven, would be likely to bring discredit on An Garda Síochána (according to section 87(3)b) of the Act).
  • Section 102 does not differentiate between a garda who is on duty or otherwise, so An Garda Síochána may refer incidents to GSOC where death or serious harm has occurred following contact with an off-duty garda member.
  • GSOC may also initiate a public interest investigation in relation to the conduct of a member either on-duty or off-duty.
  • How will I be notified of a complaint made against me?

    Depending on whether the complaint is admissible or inadmissible, and depending on how it is to be dealt with if it is admissible, there are different notification processes set out in the Act. Read More
  • If a matter is referred to GSOC, does An Garda Síochána have no further involvement in its i

    Chapter 4 and Appendices A and B of the Protocols between the two organisations are about investigations that coincide. Where a referral is made to GSOC by An Garda Síochána, GSOC has a responsibility to investigate the matter, and this may include investigation of civilian behaviour as well as garda behaviour. Read More
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    If your complaint is dealt with by informal resolution or if it is a criminal matter, it will be dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it is about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will most likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC will decide to supervise these investigations. If we do not supervise and you are unhappy with the outcome, you are entitled to ask us to review how the investigation was undertaken by the Garda officer. Read More
  • Can GSOC prosecute or impose penalties or sanctions?

    No, GSOC is an investigative agency only. Following a criminal investigation by GSOC, the DPP takes a decision based on the investigation file whether to prosecute or not. Following disciplinary investigations, the Garda Commissioner takes decisions on any appropriate sanctions or actions. Read More
  • What information can GSOC disclose about its investigations

    In deciding what and to whom certain information is disclosed, GSOC must balance its confidentiality and privacy obligations with its duty to be transparent and open in its work. People directly involved in GSOC investigations—including the people who make complaints and the gardaí who are the subject of investigations—have a legal right to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation which relates to them (click below for more information). Read More