The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has the power to independently investigate gardaí but since its establishment in 2007, issues have been raised in relation to whistleblowers, resources and handling of cases.
This investigation was part-funded (€170) by four Noteworthy backers. The remainder (€2,370) was funded through support from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) who recognise the importance of research in the area of police reform. The investigation is fully editorially independent as outlined in our Fairness Policy.
Some experts are disappointed that the setting up of GSOC did not result in all investigations being independent. In 2020, 42% of investigations were conducted by gardaí.
GSOC investigators have raised concerns over lack of Garda cooperation in investigations, most recently in the Garda Tony Golden murder inquiry. GSOC chair Judge Mary Ellen Ring also told a Joint Oireachtas Committee in 2016 that the body had “no teeth” to act when there was no Garda co-operation or it was slow.
In order to increase accountability and performance of the gardaí as well as to improve the complaints procedure, the government has put forward a new Policing and Security Bill. However, this has been met with opposition from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, garda superintendents and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI).
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to examine the workings of GSOC when it comes to investigating complaints from members of the public and whether adequate resources are in place.
We will investigate ongoing issues such as what happens if people are not satisfied with the outcome or handing of a complaint to GSOC.
Finally, we will delve into the new Policing and Security Bill and look into any proposed reform of GSOC to find out if it adequately addresses concerns raised.
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