Probe into harassment of gardai on social media

An Garda Commissioner Noireen O'Sullivan accompanied by John Redmond general secretary AGSI listening to president Tim Galvin's speach at the AGSI conference.

Tom Brady

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan confirmed an investigation has been launched into harassment of members of the force on social media and in person.

The attacks are understood to be focused on gardaí involving in policing water protests in Dublin.

She said investigating officers would take appropriate action when the facts of the cases had been established.

The president of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Tim Galvin, revealed at the body's annual conference in Trim that photographs of gardaí had been published on social media outlets, with requests to users to provide their names and addresses and where their children went to school.

Reacting to conference motions seeking proper tactical training for detectives, the Commissioner said this was under review as part of an overall look at the use of firearms and an updating of policies.

She said it had been a very challenging and interesting week for the gardaí with the conclusions of the Graham Dwyer and Ian Bailey cases and the publication of the report into the death of Fr Niall Molloy.

She said the Dwyer case had shown the commitment, dedication and professionalism of the investigating gardaí.

Ms O'Sullivan said the force needed 325 recruits a year to offset the losses through retirements, deaths and resignations.

She was confident there would be an ongoing trickle of recruitment and she believed this would continue.

Responding to hard-hitting comments from Mr Galvin, the Commissioner promised her front-line supervisors that she does not regard them as a nuisance and said she was anxious to engage constructively with them.

She said the sergeants and inspectors had a role to play and the massive programme of work currently under way included a lot of input from members of the association.