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Sunday 20 January 2019

Gardaí fined €51,000 after breaches of discipline by 148 officers

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Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

A garda was fined €10,800 last year for "discreditable conduct, neglect of duty and falsehood/prevarication".

It was the largest fine imposed on a member of the force in 2017 when 148 gardaí were reprimanded by their superiors after being found to be in breach of internal Garda discipline.

These gardaí received a combination of monetary sanctions, cautions, warnings and reprimands.

The total monetary penalties imposed on members of the force last year was €51,069.

The fines are up 26pc on the €40,565 in monetary penalties which was imposed in 2016 when 130 members were found to be in breach of Garda discipline.

However, the figure is down from 2015 when the total amount of financial penalties imposed on gardaí for disciplinary breaches was €71,934.

Since 2012, a total of €367,365 has been imposed in fines on gardaí who breached internal discipline.

In relation to the highest penalty of €10,800 imposed in 2017, the member had to pay the penalty due to "discreditable conduct, neglect of duty and falsehood/prevarication".

The fines are imposed by way of docking pay to the garda involved.

Details released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to An Garda Síochána show that another member in 2017 was fined €5,268 for "neglect of duty", while another was fined €3,600 for the same breach of discipline.

Twelve of the top 15 monetary penalties imposed on members in 2017 related to "neglect of duty", with fines ranging from €950 to €10,800.

One member was also fined €1,500 for discourtesy.

Separately, there are currently 35 gardaí who are on long-term suspensions from the force, including two members suspended for periods of between six and 10 years.

Of the 35 gardaí, eight members are suspended for between three and six years, with the remaining 25 suspended for periods of up to three years.

On the reasons why members may be suspended for three years and more, the Garda FOI unit said this includes the fact that some of the members are still subject of criminal proceedings before the courts, whether by way of awaiting trial or awaiting an appeal before the courts.

One member of the force was dismissed in 2017.

The number of gardaí disciplined internally last year represents a tiny fraction - just over 1pc - of the 13,551 gardaí of all ranks employed at the end of 2017.

Gardaí don't comment on disciplinary issues and this is provided for by statute.

Irish Independent

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