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.

GSOC’s investigative process begins with an initial examination of the matter, which will involve taking or reviewing accounts from gardaí and others and examining any other evidence available at that point. (This is provided for by section 91 of the Act.)In many cases, the initial examination clearly indicates no evidence of no evidence of misconduct by gardaí, and (if it was agreed that the possibility of offences by any civilians involved are to be investigated by An Garda Síochána) GSOC’s investigation can be closed, with no further action required.

If this cannot be immediately established, if a complaint is made in relation to the matter, or if there are other matters of concern, further investigation will be needed. Any further investigation will be in line with section 98 or 95 of the Act.

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • How long do complaint investigations typically take?

    The time taken to close an investigation depends on the level of complexity of the case, but to get an indicator, you can look in the Publications section of the website to find the median time taken to close investigations by type, per quarter. Read More