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.

During the initial examination of the matter under section 91 or any subsequent investigation under section 95 or 98, you may be asked to give a statement, produce notes, provide evidence, or assist GSOC with establishing the facts in other ways. Forensic examinations may take place and you may be asked for physical items of potential evidential value. For example, your clothing or items of equipment may need to be examined for firearms residue, blood or signs of a struggle. You may also be asked to undergo a medical examination, if appropriate. All of this is to objectively establish the facts and corroborate accounts given. It is normal investigative practice.

If your involvement in the incident which took place is being looked into during the investigation, it does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of an offence or a breach of discipline. If you are, you will be given the opportunity to explain. In accordance with your legal right, you will be cautioned before interview if the investigator considers you in jeopardy of prosecution.

How long the investigation will take depends on the complexity of the case, time taken to receive evidence and submissions or statements, and the stages involved. For example, if the file is sent to the DPP following an investigation, the time for the DPP to make a decision and any subsequent criminal justice process will extend the timeline.

If you are subject of an investigation, you will be notified of this and you are entitled to be kept informed of its progress in accordance with section 103(1)(b) of the Act. You can contact the GSOC investigator to enquire about progress, or raise any concerns, at any time.

  • 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. Read More
  • 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. An Garda Síochána Employee Assistance Service is a confidential service to discuss any life situation causing concern. Read More
  • Why am I told that an inadmissible complaint has been made against me and nothing more?

    If you receive a letter saying a complaint was made against you but was deemed inadmissible, this means that no action will be taken in relation to it by the Garda Ombudsman, that is, it will not be admitted for investigation. 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
  • Will the garda/ the Garda Síochána find out that I complained about them?

    If your complaint is investigated, Garda Headquarters and gardaí involved may be given any information on your complaint form (including your name), in the course of the investigation. If your complaint cannot be dealt with by GSOC however, they will be notified that a complaint was made and the nature of it, but will not be given the details (including your name). 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