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.
  • Who can I talk to if I am concerned about a GSOC investigation?

    If you have any general questions about the way GSOC operates which are not answered here, we will do our best to answer them. Your GSOC case officer can discuss any case-specific concerns with you. Read More
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • How is Informal Resolution done?

    It is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively and without the need for a formal investigation under the Discipline Regulations. Time taken to close these cases is about one-third of the time taken to close formal disciplinary investigations. Read More
  • Can I make a complaint to GSOC about garda misconduct myself?

    Under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, a Garda member cannot make a complaint about Garda behaviour in the same way that a member of the public can. However, under the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014, gardaí and others working for the Garda Síochána may now confidentially disclose allegations of wrongdoings within the Garda Síochána, to a member of the Ombudsman Commission. Find out more information by clicking the Protected disclosures link on the right hand side of the page. Read More
  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    Complaints involving criminal matters are dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it's about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC supervise these investigations. If it's about a possible breach of Garda discipline, and it's deemed suitable, you may have the option of having the matter resolved through Local Intervention. If you agree to this your complaint will be sent to a Garda Inspector. Read More
  • What happens following a referral under section 102?

    If a matter is referred to GSOC 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