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.

The time taken to close an investigation depends on a number of factors:

  • level of complexity of the case
  • type of investigation
  • time taken to receive information and evidence
  • cooperation and availability of witnesses and garda members
  • impact of operational matters
  • whether the file is sent to the DPP for a prosecution decision and whether the case goes to court
  • time taken to decide on disciplinary matters, where relevant, and whether the case goes to a Board of Inquiry
  • whether an appeal is made in relation to a finding or sanction.

In relation to disciplinary matters investigated by a Garda Síochána Investigating Officer, GSOC has little control over the time taken, but does issue reminders to the GSIO, in an attempt to ensure that cases are concluded without delay. If there is an excessive delay, there is an escalation process laid out in chapter 18 of the Protocols between GSOC and AGS, which we may resort to. If the investigation is unsupervised,  we may also decide to supervise it in a bid to get it completed.

You can get an indication of the durations of different investigation types in the Publications\Statistics section.

  • 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. 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 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
  • 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
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to return my property?

    No. If your property is part of a Garda investigation, it will be held until the investigation is complete. Then you must ask the Garda Síochána for it back directly. If you cannot get your property back at that stage, GSOC can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for not returning it. However, while this could result in disciplinary action against a garda, it is not guaranteed to get you your property back. 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