Three Garda officers seconded to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
Three Garda officers seconded to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation into accounts relating to the Garda College Templemore began work with the Commission this week.
The officers – who between them have experience with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Economic Crime Bureau, and general investigative experience – are joining a multi-agency team being assembled and led by GSOC to investigate alleged financial irregularities at the Garda College.
Two accountants, including one from the Revenue Commissioners, will also be joining the team in the near future for the investigation which will require accountancy, fraud investigation and general criminal investigation skills.
While on secondment to GSOC, the gardaí are no longer under the direction and control of the Garda Commissioner (as provided for under Section 74 of the Garda Síochána Act (2005)); in this instance, they will report to a GSOC Senior Investigation Officer who has more than 15 years’ experience in police oversight in two different jurisdictions.
The Commission values the expertise that the accountants and the garda officers bring to the investigation.
The Commission has recently made it clear to the Minister for Justice that under its current staffing arrangements, it does not have the numbers necessary to carry out the Templemore investigation in addition to existing investigation workload.
We would welcome increased personnel with increased powers, but in the meantime we are confident that a thorough and independent investigation into the Templemore accounts can be conducted by the multidisciplinary GSOC-led team which comprises GSOC staff, the garda officers, and accountants.
The Public Interest Investigation, provided for by Section 102.4 of the Act was launched last month. It is categorised as a criminal investigation under Section 98 of the Act.
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