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.

  • Will GSOC send my complaint back to the Garda Síochána?

    If your complaint is dealt with by informal resolution or if it is a criminal matter, it will be dealt with by a GSOC officer. If it is about a possible breach of Garda discipline, then it will most likely be dealt with by a senior Garda officer on our behalf. Sometimes GSOC will decide to supervise these investigations. If we do not supervise and you are unhappy with the outcome, you are entitled to ask us to review how the investigation was undertaken by the Garda officer. 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
  • How will I be notified of a complaint made against me?

    Depending on whether the complaint is admissible or inadmissible, and depending on how it is to be dealt with if it is admissible, there are different notification processes set out in the Act. 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
  • 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
  • What powers do GSOC officers have?

    In criminal investigations, GSOC officers have all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred on, and all the duties imposed on, any member of the Garda Síochána. However, unlike members of the Garda Síochána. Read More