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.

The process involves a GSOC Officer engaging with you and with the complainant by telephone. There are no face-to-face meetings.

The objective is that, by the end of the process, each party better understands the other’s point of view and/or the circumstances which led to the incident giving rise to the complaint. Often, to know that an issue that upset or bothered them was brought to your attention, is enough for a complainant to consider the matter resolved. Sometimes, clarification of a misunderstanding, by one or both people, can lead to resolution of the issue.

A case is considered resolved when both parties agree that no further action is necessary.

If a resolution cannot be reached, the case may be escalated to a formal investigation under the Garda Síochána Discipline Regulations 2007, or it may be closed, if it is unlikely that such an investigation could realistically make a finding one way or the other. Should a disciplinary investigation be conducted, none of the confidential information obtained after consent to the Informal Resolution process may be used.

Consent of both parties is required for Informal Resolution.

These are the advantages for gardaí:

  • Informal resolution (IR) is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively, without an official disciplinary process.
  • Consent to this process is not taken as an admission of any wrongdoing.
  • All conversations had with you after consent are confidential and information obtained may not be used outside the IR process.
  • If the complaint can be resolved informally, the matter is not recorded (GSOC advises An Garda Síochána of the resolution and to “expunge” any record of the complaint, in compliance with section 90(6) of the Act.)
  • 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
  • Can GSOC get a Fixed Charge Penalty Notice cancelled?

    No. You need to contact the FCPN office to appeal an FCPN which you believe is unjustified. 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 by clicking on Protected Disclosures. Read More
  • Can GSOC have my car released?

    Cars can only be released on payment of the relevant fine. Depending on who issued the fine, there are different appeals processes in place to try to get your money back if you believe the fine was unjustified. 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 should I expect if I am involved in a matter referred to GSOC?

    If you are involved in a matter which is referred to GSOC, you will most likely be aware of this fact at the time. Otherwise you may find out when you are contacted by a GSOC investigator working on the case and asked to assist in establishing the facts. Read More