Protected Disclosures

Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, workers of the Garda Síochána, including garda members, may confidentially disclose allegations of wrongdoings, within the Garda Síochána, either to their employer (An Garda Síochána Policy for the making of Protected Disclosures describes the procedure for this) or to a member of the Ombudsman Commission, as a prescribed person under section 7 of that Act.

People wishing to make a protected disclosure can get in direct contact with a member of the Ombudsman Commission by:

  • writing to any of the three Commissioners at the GSOC offices at 150 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1, marking your letter ‘Confidential’
  • emailing (this mailbox is only accessible by the GSOC Commissioners)
  • phoning (01) 871 6727 during office hours and asking to speak to one of the Commissioners about a confidential matter.

Every disclosure is dealt with by a Commissioner in the first instance, in complete confidentiality. If your disclosure meets the criteria in the 2014 Act, after that, an investigator will be assigned to your case and will contact you. The process for investigating the matters you have brought to the Ombudsman Commission’s attention will be explained to you and you will be able to decide, based on that explanation, if you are happy to continue with the process.

Section 5 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 describes what counts as “relevant information” and can be subject of a protected disclosure. It also lists the matters that are “relevant wrongdoings for the purposes of this Act”. Please read this before making a disclosure. We have copied the relevant parts below:

(2) For the purposes of this Act information is “relevant information” if—
(a) in the reasonable belief of the worker, it tends to show one or more relevant wrongdoings, and
(b) it came to the attention of the worker in connection with the worker’s employment.

(3) The following matters are relevant wrongdoings for the purposes of this Act—
(a) that an offence has been, is being or is likely to be committed,
(b) that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contract whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services,
(c) that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
(d) that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
(e) that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged,
(f) that an unlawful or otherwise improper use of funds or resources of a public body, or of other public money, has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
(g) that an act or omission by or on behalf of a public body is oppressive, discriminatory or grossly negligent or constitutes gross mismanagement, or
(h) that information tending to show any matter falling within any of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be concealed or destroyed.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) it is immaterial whether a relevant wrongdoing occurred, occurs or would occur in the State or elsewhere and whether the law applying to it is that of the State or that of any other country or territory.

(5) A matter is not a relevant wrongdoing if it is a matter which it is the function of the worker or the worker’s employer to detect, investigate or prosecute and does not consist of or involve an act or omission on the part of the employer.

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Protected Disclosures Act 2014

An Act for the protection of persons from action against them should they make disclosures in the public interest .

521.65 KB pdf 8 Jul 2014