19: A complaint alleging assault, resolved by criminal investigation


Background

GSOC launched an investigation after a person complained that gardaí had entered the person’s home without cause, that gardaí had assaulted the person, and that some of the complainant’s property was damaged/destroyed by the actions of garda members. Because the person was alleging criminal behaviour by gardaí—as opposed to breaches of the disciplinary regulations—a criminal investigation was carried out by GSOC investigations officers.

Action Taken

During the course of the investigation, GSOC investigators were able to speak with a number of witnesses, apart from garda members, who had knowledge of the event which led to the complainant’s allegations. It emerged that emergency services, including the Garda Síochána, were alerted to attend the complainant’s home by friends who had concerns about the complainant. Those concerns led to gardaí forcing their way into the complainant’s home, and, because of concerns for the safety of both the complainant and other people, to gardaí restraining the complainant.

Outcome

The GSOC investigator’s report to the Commission said the investigation had uncovered no potential criminal violations or breaches of discipline by members of the Garda Síochána. The investigation was closed by GSOC.