17: A complaint alleging discourtesy, resolved by unsupervised disciplinary investigation


Background

A garda was sanctioned for discourtesy after a person who was involved in a minor car collision complained about how the garda had spoken to her and the other driver. The garda came on the scene and instructed the two drivers to move their vehicles out of the way of a bus lane. The complainant said that as she was driving up the road to where she thought the garda had told her to pull in, the garda used abusive language towards her. The complainant said that as she and the other driver, who had difficulty understanding the garda, swapped details, the garda continued to shout at the two of them. The complainant said that while she was grateful the garda had arrived at the scene, the way he shouted repeatedly and used bad language was unnecessary. She and the other driver were calm and not arguing.

Action Taken

A Garda Síochána Investigating Officer (GSIO) was appointed to investigate under section 94 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005. When the garda was interviewed for the investigation, he said he was not aggressive but was firm and professional. He acknowledged that he had a motorcycle helmet on and earplugs in at the time of the incident. He should have removed the helmet and ear plugs when dealing with the members of the public.

Outcome

He was found to have been in breach for discourtesy and the sanction imposed by the Garda Commissioner was advice.