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.

If the complaint against you is deemed inadmissible, you will be notified in writing by the Garda Ombudsman that a complaint was made against you but it was inadmissible and no action will be taken. (See the question on inadmissible complaints for the reasons for this.)

If it is deemed admissible and considered suitable for informal resolution, GSOC will contact you asking if you are willing to try to resolve the matter informally, by talking on the phone with a GSOC case officer who also talks with the person who complained. (See the question on informal resolution for more information on this.)

If it is deemed admissible and not considered suitable for informal resolution, GSOC will send a notification to An Garda Síochána, Internal Affairs. This notification will be forwarded to you through your Divisional/Regional Office. The notification will tell you the nature of the complaint, the name of the complainant, and the type of investigation to be carried out. This may be:

  • an investigation under section 98 (an investigation into allegations of any behaviour that may amount to a criminal offence). If this is the case, it will be carried out by a GSOC investigator. You can expect to be contacted by them during the course of the investigation to get your account of the incident, ask you about any independent witnesses or evidence that you may be aware of, etc. The investigator will give you their contact details so you can ask any questions or raise any concerns directly with them.
  • an investigation under section 94 (an investigation into allegations of any behaviour that may amount to a breach of the Discipline Regulations). If this is the case, it will be carried out by a Garda Síochána Investigating Officer (GSIO). It may, in a minority of cases, be supervised by a GSOC investigator. You will be contacted by, or on behalf of, the GSIO.
  • an investigation under section 95 (an investigation into noncriminal matters). If this is the case, it will be carried out by a GSOC investigator. You can expect to be contacted by them during the course of the investigation to inform you of the nature of the allegations and your rights and obligations, get your account of the incident, ask you about any independent witnesses or evidence that you may be aware of, etc. The investigator will give you their contact details so you can ask any questions or raise any concerns directly with them.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Is GSOC part of the Garda Síochána?

    No, we are an independent body. 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 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
  • How is Informal Resolution done?

    It is a means of resolving situations more quickly and effectively and without the need for a formal investigation under the Discipline Regulations. Time taken to close these cases is about one-third of the time taken to close formal disciplinary investigations. Read More