Saturday 17 August 2019

Revealed: Garda watchdog dealt with almost 2,000 complaints last year and dozens of sanctions were applied

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (Niall Carson/PA)
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (Niall Carson/PA)
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) dealt with almost 2,000 complaints last year and dozens of sanctions were applied to Gardaí, according to its latest annual report.

The Garda watchdog's 2018 report was considered by Cabinet today after it was brought by justice minister Charlie Flanagan.

The report says GSOC opened 1,921 complaints last year.

It shows that 74 sanctions, including reductions in pay, were applied by the Garda Commissioner that year on foot of disciplinary investigations.

GSOC sent 17 files to the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2018 after criminal investigations.

Meanwhile 24 protected disclosures were made to GSOC during the year.

The report also outlines how GSOC got approval for 42 extra staff members - a 40pc increase - and the recruitment process is said to be well-advanced.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is said to have visited GSOC within four weeks of his appointment to the top job in the Gardaí last year.

The GSOC report also refers to the findings of a review conducted by the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

The Commission recommended that all complaints of alleged misconduct by Garda members be investigated by an expanded and re-named body.

The GSOC report says that many of the Commission's recommendations echoed proposals it has also made.

GSOC is said to be looking forward to engaging with the Commission implementation group.

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