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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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