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.
  • Will the garda/ the Garda Síochána find out that I complained about them?

    If your complaint is investigated, Garda Headquarters and gardaí involved may be given any information on your complaint form (including your name), in the course of the investigation. If your complaint cannot be dealt with by GSOC however, they will be notified that a complaint was made and the nature of it, but will not be given the details (including your name). Read More
  • What happens following a referral under section 102?

    If a matter is referred to it under section 102, GSOC must investigate, with a view to establishing the facts of the situation and clarifying whether it may have resulted from garda misconduct. In many cases, this will require a GSOC investigator or team of investigators to attend the scene of an incident and work closely with An Garda Síochána teams there. 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
  • 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
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • What are my rights and obligations if a complaint is made against me?

    Your rights and obligations depend on the nature of the complaint and the way that it is investigated, or dealt with. Read More