What are my rights and obligations if a complaint is made against me?


Your rights and obligations depend on the nature of the complaint and the way that it is investigated, or dealt with.
  • If the complaint alleges a breach of discipline and GSOC proposes that you try to resolve it informally through a GSOC case officer, rather than via a formal disciplinary process, you have the right to agree or refuse. If you agree, you have the right to complete confidentiality during the process. Also, An Garda Síochána must delete and destroy any record of the complaint, if it is resolved informally.
  • If the complaint alleges a breach of discipline and is being investigated under section 94 of the Act, your rights and
    entitlements are laid out in the Discipline Regulations.
  • If GSOC is investigating a non-criminal matter under section 95 of the Act, your rights are laid out in that section and are, essentially, that you will be given an opportunity “to be heard” and “to present evidence and make submissions”. Section 96 states that, in such cases, you are required to provide any “information, document, or thing” and “attend before the Commission if required by the investigation”.
  • If the complaint concerns a possible criminal matter and is being investigated under section 98 of the Act, the GSOC investigator has “all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred and all the duties imposed on a member of the Garda Síochána”. In this context, you have the same rights as any other citizen.
  • What happens following a referral under section 102?

    If a matter is referred to it 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 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
  • Can GSOC investigate conduct of off-duty or retired gardaí?

    Sometimes. A complaint against a garda member can be admitted if it concerns conduct off-duty which would be likely to bring discredit on the Garda Síochána. Investigations following referral, or initiated in the public interest, can look into the conduct of off-duty gardaí. 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
  • 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
  • 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