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.
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to return my property?

    No. If your property is part of a Garda investigation, it will be held until the investigation is complete. Then you must ask the Garda Síochána for it back directly. If you cannot get your property back at that stage, GSOC can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for not returning it. However, while this could result in disciplinary action against a garda, it is not guaranteed to get you your property back. 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
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to investigate the matter I reported?

    No. We can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for any neglect of duty, or lack of action. We cannot oblige them to take any action. Read More
  • What does GSOC do about false or misleading information?

    Section 110 of the Act provides for penalties by way of fine and/or imprisonment for any person who knowingly gives information that is false or misleading to the Garda Ombudsman. Where we believe that there is sufficient evidence that such an offence has been committed, we send a file to the DPP. Read More
  • If GSOC wants to interview me, what can I expect?

    GSOC investigators will make every reasonable effort to accommodate gardaí they need to interview, in terms of date, time and location. 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 it 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