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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • Can GSOC get the Garda Síochána to investigate the matter I reported?

    No. We can look into whether any gardaí were in breach of discipline for any neglect of duty, or lack of action. We cannot oblige them to take any action. Read More
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. Read More
  • 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. 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