3: Referral following the death of a man who had attempted suicide before gardaí were called

9 Jan 2017


The death of a man, who had attempted suicide before gardaí were called by family members, was referred to GSOC. Gardaí who went to the scene decided the man should be detained under section 12 of the Mental Health Act. They handcuffed him for his own safety and that of others. The man became unresponsive, an ambulance was called and two first responders on the scene started CPR. A defibrillator was also used but the man was pronounced dead sometime after his removal to hospital. Gardaí referred the matter to GSOC under section 102(1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005— this stipulates that the Garda Commissioner ‘shall’ refer to GSOC any matter that appears to indicate that ‘the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of or serious harm to a person.’

Action Taken:

GSOC carried out an investigation and concluded that no culpability could be attributed to the actions of gardaí in the death of the man.

GSOC did however submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in accordance with the requirements of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.


A file was sent to the DPP with a recommendation from GSOC that there be no prosecution—a direction for no prosecution was given by the DPP.