If a matter is referred to GSOC, does An Garda Síochána have no further involvement in its investigation?


Chapter 4 and Appendices A and B of the Protocols between the two organisations are about investigations that coincide. Where a referral is made to it by An Garda Síochána, GSOC has a responsibility to investigate the matter, and this may include investigation of civilian behaviour as well as garda behaviour.

However, in practice, a division of responsibilities is generally agreed between the senior officers of GSOC and An Garda Síochána at the scene and, based on this, there are generally parallel investigations by the two organisations. GSOC’s main concern will be to establish whether there is evidence that conduct by a garda member, be it criminal or non-criminal, may have contributed to death or serious harm. An Garda Síochána will generally retain responsibility for the investigation of any possible criminal offences by other individuals involved.The above sections of the Protocols say that, if one

The above sections of the Protocols say that, if one organisation has what is considered to be a more urgent investigation, based on organisational or evidential requirements, that organisation will take the lead; and where both organisations are investigating matters of equal importance, the lead will generally rest with GSOC. This will be kept under review by the Senior Investigating Officers of each organisation. Where there is an issue in determining the level of seriousness of the investigations, the matter will be resolved at a more senior level.If it is agreed that a GSOC officer should take responsibility for the scene,

If it is agreed that a GSOC officer should take responsibility for the scene, it may be necessary for garda members to operate under their direction at the scene. Instruction will normally be via the most senior garda officer at the scene, but may be direct if appropriate.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 I make a complaint about a GSOC staff member?

    Yes. We have a complaints process, whereby complaints about our staff are handled in line with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. This Code sets out the standards required by all civil servants, including GSOC staff. 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
  • 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