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.
Section 110 of the Act makes it an offence to knowingly supply “false or misleading” information to the Garda Ombudsman and provides for penalties, by way of fine and/or imprisonment, for any person who does this.
Where we believe that there is sufficient evidence that such an offence has been committed, we send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a prosecution decision.
To date, files concerning over 25 civilians have been sent to the DPP, in relation to possible offences under section 110. In some cases, no prosecution was directed by the DPP, but there have been over ten prosecutions, with a number of these resulting in convictions. Sanctions imposed have included custodial sentences.
Of course, this section also applies to gardaí. We have also sent files to the DPP when it appears that gardaí have knowingly given false/ misleading information. Over 10 files have been sent to date in relation to Garda members.
If an investigator is considering that you may be guilty of providing false or misleading information to GSOC, you will be cautioned in this regard and given the opportunity to explain in an interview.