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.

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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