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Internal Affairs

gardai walking among trees sm

Internal Affairs comes under the remit of Assistant Commissioner Governance and Accountability and is headed by a Chief Superintendent.  Internal Affairs comprises of the following sections, based at Garda Headquarters and Athlumney House, Navan, Co Meath:

  • Discipline
  • Complaints
  • Compensations
  • Gearain Office (GSOC Liaison Office, Navan).

Discipline:

The Discipline Section is responsible for oversight of all investigations undertaken by An Garda Síochána under the provisions of the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007/2011 (Statutory Instrument Nos. 214 of 2007 and 620 of 2011), which came into effect on 1st June, 2007 and 22nd November, 2011. The purpose of these regulations is to provide a code of conduct for all members of An Garda Síochána, which must be strictly adhered to. Any suspected breaches may be subject of investigation by Officers appointed pursuant to the Regulations. The penalties provided under the regulations include dismissal; reduction in rank; temporary reduction in pay; caution and advice.

Further information on Discipline:

Discipline Section is responsible for the administration of all investigations undertaken by An Garda Síochána under the provisions of the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 as amended, which came into effect on 1st June 2007.

The purpose of these Regulations is to provide a code of conduct for all members of An Garda Síochána. Any suspected breaches may be subject of investigation by Officers appointed pursuant to the Regulations. The penalties provided under the Regulations include dismissal; reduction in rank; temporary reduction in pay; warning; reprimand; caution; and advice.

There are three main areas contained in the Discipline Regulations for addressing Disciplinary matters.

Options for dealing with breaches of Discipline

Regulation 10 Regulation 14Regulation 23 
Minor BreachLess SeriousSerious
  • Advice
  • Caution
  • Warning
  • Reprimand
  • Warning
  • Caution
  • Advice
  • One/Two Weeks Pay
  • 4 Weeks Pay
  • Reduction in Rank
  • Require to Resign/Retire
  • Dismissal

Where a member is found in breach, Disciplinary results will be recorded in a loose-leaf folder in the district office in the case of Regulation 10 and for Regulation 14 and 23 it will be recorded on the member’s personnel file. The record will be destroyed after the expiration of three years if no further disciplinary action is recorded against the member in that period.

Complaints:

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was established under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, as an independent authority tasked with investigating complaints against members of An Garda Síochána.

Members of the public who are directly affected by, or witness, misconduct by a member of An Garda Síochána may make a complaint. Complaints may also be made on behalf of that member of the public, by any other person, if the member of public on whose behalf the complaint is being made consents, in writing or orally, to it being made.

Complaints may be made directly to GSOC (contact details are available at www.gardaombudsman.ie) or by stating, giving or sending it:

   a) to the Garda Commissioner;

   b) to any member of An Garda Síochána at a Garda Síochána Station;

   c) to a member at, or above, the rank of Chief Superintendent at a place other than a Garda Síochána station.

The legislation provides that all complaints made against a member of An Garda Síochána are referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission for consideration.

On receipt of an admissible complaint, GSOC may, as it considers appropriate:

   1)   deal with the complaint by means of informal resolution;

   2)   refer the complaint to An Garda Síochána for investigation by Garda Officers, on behalf of GSOC;

         This investigation may be:

        a) Unsupervised

        b) Supervised by a designated officer of GSOC.

   3)    have the complaint investigated by a designated officer of GSOC.

The relevant regulations under the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 provide strict timeframes under which such investigations are to be conducted.

Further information on Complaints:

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is an independent statutory body, established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended and set up in 2007. GSOC’s primary responsibility is to deal with complaints made by members of the public concerning the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána.

The Complaints Section at Internal Affairs, is responsible for the administration of complaints investigations designated by GSOC for investigation in accordance Section 94 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (Supervised and Unsupervised Investigations). Where breaches of discipline are identified arising from investigations the matter is referred back to the Garda Commissioner for investigation in accordance with the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 as amended. The Complaints Section provides administrative support to the Commissioner in fulfilling functions prescribed under Part IV of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended and the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 as amended. In this regard the Complaints Section liaises with GSOC and Garda Investigating Officers on a regular basis to discuss cases and respond to queries arising.

The Complaints Section also provides the following supports:

  • Presentations to promotion courses at the Garda Síochána College to enhance capability,
  • Provision of briefings to Regional and Divisional staff to enhance knowledge and skills,
  • Review and analysis of current Case Law,
  • Ensuring compliance with agreed protocols between AGS and GSOC in respect of S94 investigations,
  • Drafting internal Garda policy in respect of complaint investigations.

Compensation:

All applications for compensation under the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941/45 are made by serving or retired members of An Garda Síochána to the Department of Justice & Equality and relate to injuries maliciously inflicted on the member, whether on or off-duty, in the course of, or in relation to, the performance by them of their duties as members of An Garda Síochána.

The Compensation Section is responsible for processing all such applications for compensation on behalf of the Department of Justice and Equality, insofar as An Garda Síochána is concerned. 

Gearain Office (GSOC Liaison Office, Navan).

The Gearain Office is responsible for liaising with GSOC in respect of Section 95, Section 98 and Section 102 investigations which are undertaken by GSOC. The Section is tasked with ensuring that information requests made by GSOC are adhered to within the prescribed timelines as set out in the GSOC protocols.

Function of the Gearain Office (GSOC Liaison Office)

The GSOC Liaison Office, Internal Affairs has the primary function of administrating requests for information / documentation submitted by GSOC in respect of Investigations being conducted under Section 98 (Criminal) and Section 95 (Discipline) of the Garda Síochana Act 2005, as amended. All administrative functions in respect of GSOC investigation conducted under Section 95, Section 98 and Section 102 of the Garda Síochana Act 2005, as amended are performed by this office.

Internal Affairs can be contacted at:

Internal Affairs
Garda Headquarters
Phoenix Park
Dublin 8
D08 HN3X.

Tel: +353 1 6660000

Complaints & Discipline

In the year 2019 to date 502 files in relation to complaints and potential breaches of discipline were processed at Internal Affairs, as recorded on the “GEMS” system.

These files relate to complaints deemed admissible by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and referred to An Garda Síochána for investigation, and also include discipline matters investigated at District/Divisional level. The statistics below also include matters which have had preliminary enquiries conducted but which have not necessarily progressed to a full investigation. 

Table A below provides information in relation to the number complaint files and potential breaches of discipline opened in Internal Affairs for each Region during the year to date as of 12th April 2019.

Table A: Number of complaint files and potential breaches of discipline files opened in Internal Affairs year to date (YTD)

Table A as on the 12th April 2019
Region Total No. of Files Opened YTD
D.M.R. 164
Eastern 74
HQ and National Units 22
Northern 54
South Eastern 50
Southern 88
Western 50
Total 502

The 2007 Discipline Regulations introduced a three tier system enabling any supervisor to address a minor breach of discipline informally, under Regulation 10, and it created a distinction between ‘Less Serious’ and ‘Serious’ breaches of discipline. Regulation 10- Part 1 (Minor Breach/Informal Resolution), Regulation 14- Part 2 (Less Serious) and Regulation 23-Part 3 (Serious).

During the year 2019 to date, 193 discipline appointments have been made under Part 2 and Part 3 of the Discipline Regulations 2007 as outlined in table B below. 

Table B: Number of Appointments made under the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 as amended YTD.

Table B as on the 12th April 2019
Regulation type No. of Appointments
Part 2 178
part 3 15
Total 193

During the year 2019 to date a total of 125 breaches of discipline were recorded on the “GEMS” system at Internal Affairs. These relate to matters investigated at District/Divisional level arising from internally initiated discipline and matters referred by GSOC to the Garda Commissioner for investigation under the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations[1] 2007 and 2011 as amended. 

Table C below shows the Regulation Type, disciplinary outcome and or action taken together with the number of members and total number of breaches preferred. A member may have multiple breaches of discipline recorded in respect of one incident. 

Table C: Disciplinary outcomes/actions

Table C as on the 12th April 2019
Regulation Type Outcome/Action No. of members Total Breaches
Part 2 Discontinued 1 1
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Advice 3 3
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Caution 2 2
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Reprimand 3 3
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 1 1
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Warning 1 1
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Advice 3 4
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Caution 2 4
Part 2 In Breach (Part 2) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 5 6
Part 2 Not in Breach 48 82
Part 2 Reg. 10 1 1
Part 3 In Breach 2 4
Part 3 In Breach (Part 3) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 1 1
Part 3 Not in Breach 1 12
Total 74 125

[1] This includes complaints which were forwarded by GSOC to the Garda Commissioner for investigation in accordance with Section 94 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, findings under Regulation 45 and 46 of the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 and findings arising from disciplinary appointments outside of the Garda Síochána Act, i.e Internal Discipline in accordance with the Garda Siochana Discipline Regulations.

During the year 2019 to date there was 6 different acts of conduct that constituted breaches of discipline. The three most common type of breaches to date relate to;

  • Neglect of Duty
  • Discreditable Conduct
  • Abuse of Authority

 Table D below provides information on the various breach types, the number of breaches for each type together with the outcomes and disciplinary actions.   

Table D: Breakdown of outcomes YTD

Table D as on the 12th April 2019
Breach Type Outcome Type No. of Members No. of Breaches Reduction of Pay (€)
Abuse of Authority Not in Breach 13 21 0
Discourtesy In Breach (Part 2) - Caution 1 1 0
Not in Breach 8 11 0
Discreditable Conduct In Breach 1 2 500
In Breach (Part 2) - Reprimand 2 2 0
Not in Breach 12 16 0
Falsehood / Prevarication In Breach 1 1 0
In Breach (Part 3) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 1 1 500
Neglect of Duty Discontinued 1 1 0
In Breach 1 1 0
In Breach (Part 2) - Advice 3 3 0
In Breach (Part 2) - Caution 2 2 0
In Breach (Part 2I) - Reprimand 1 1 0
In Breach (Part 2) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 1 1 100
In Breach (Part 2) - Warning 1 1 0
In Breach (Part 2) - Advice 3 4 0
In Breach (Part 2)- Caution 1 3 0
In Breach (Part III) - Temp. Reduction in Pay 5 6 750
Not in Breach 27 45 0
Reg. 10 1 1 0
Neglect of Health Not in Breach 1 1 0
Total 87 125 1,850

As of 12th April 2019 there are 40 members suspended from duty. There are 7 new suspensions during 2019 to date, and 3 members were reinstated as outlined in Table E below.

Table E: Number of members currently suspended YTD, number of members suspended in 2019 and number of members reinstated in 2019.

Table E as on the 12th April 2019
No. of Members Suspended No. of members Suspended this year No. of Members reinstated this year
40 7 3

As of 12th April 2019 there are 40 members suspended from duty. The breakdown for the length of time these members are suspended is outlined in Table F below.

Table F: Length of time and number of members on suspension 2019 YTD

Table F
Length of time members Suspended  No. of Members suspended
Under 6 months 10
Between 6 months and 1 year 8
Between 1 and 2 years 8
Between 2 and 3 years 5
Between 3 and 4 years 1
Between 4 and 5 years 1
Between 5 and 6 years 3
Between 6 and 8 years 2
Between 8 and 10 years 2
Excess of 10 years 0

During the year to date (up to 12th April 2019), one member has been dismissed as outlined in Table G below.

Table G: Number of members dismissed 2019 YTD

Table G
No. of Members Dismissed YTD
1

The Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941/45 (the Act) deal specifically with injuries maliciously inflicted on members of An Garda Síochána whether on or off duty, in the course of or in relation to the performance by them of their duties as members of An Garda Síochána. The Act also provides a mechanism for dependents of deceased members, who were fatally injured in the course of their duties to claim compensation.

During the year 2019 up to 12th April 2019 a total of 37 files were opened and 3 files closed in the Compensation Section in Internal Affairs for malicious injuries on and off duty to members of An Garda Síochána. 38 cases were awarded in the High Court amounting to €993,703 as shown in table H below.

Table H: Compensation files opened, closed and awarded.

Table H as on the 12th April 2019
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
Files Opened Monthly  16 1 16 4 37
Compensation files Closed*
 
0 3 0 0 3
Files Awarded in the High Court 10 12 12 14 38
Total Awarded (€)
205,798
339,366
377,535
71,004
993,703


* Files closed relate to a member withdrawing their claim or refusal of claim by the Department of Justice and Equality