GSOC completes criminal investigation into death of Mr George Nkencho; forwards file to DPP

19 Jun 2023

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has today, 19 June 2023, forwarded an investigative file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) following the completion of an independent criminal investigation into the death of Mr George Nkencho on 30 December 2020.

GSOC has also issued a detailed statement on the matter.

This investigation is now complete, and a direction by the DPP is awaited. GSOC will make no further comment at this time. GSOC undertakes to make the substantive detail of its investigation publicly available when other statutory processes permit.

The full statement and further information are available in the note to editor.






GSOC’s detailed Statement


GSOC has published a detailed Statement regarding its investigation into the death of Mr. George Nkencho.

It is available on the GSOC website HERE.


Referral of fatal incidents to GSOC

Section102(1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 provides for the referral to GSOC of “any matter that appears to the Garda Commissioner 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”.

For more detail, see GSOC’s Statement at the above link.


GSOC’s Statutory Role

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was established in 2007 under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005.

GSOC’s statutory role is to independently investigate the conduct of members of An Garda Síochána on foot both of complaints by members of the public, and of referrals made to it by the Garda Commissioner. GSOC may conduct investigations with respect both to disciplinary and criminal matters.

While GSOC has an investigative function, it has no role whatsoever in prosecuting criminal matters, nor in internal Garda discipline.

Where in the course of a criminal investigation GSOC finds evidence of conduct that “may constitute an offence”, it is obliged to forward its investigative file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), whose sole role it is to decide whether or not charges should result.

As an investigative agency, GSOC has a role in participating in Court proceedings. This includes acting as a witness in criminal proceedings. However, GSOC has no prosecutorial role.

Where GSOC is investigating an incident in which a death has occurred, the Coroner is empowered under the Coroners Act, 1962 as amended to request the attendance, testimony and assistance of GSOC in coronial proceedings. This is analogous to the role An Garda Síochána plays in coronial proceedings when they are the lead investigative agency.