Independent investigations following referral by the Garda Síochána
GSOC is responsible for conducting investigations, following referral by the Garda Síochána, in circumstances where it appears that the conduct of a garda may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person. This is so that the public can be confident that there is independence in the investigation of such circumstances.
If there has been a fatality, particular consideration must be given to the State’s obligations under Article 2 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights by the Council of Europe (Right to Life). In general, a file will be sent to the DPP in these cases, which implies a full (criminal) investigation. Read more about investigations following a death.
60 referrals were received in 2014, of which 14 related to fatalities. 56 such investigations were closed during 2014, half of which were able to be closed quite quickly, after initial independent examination showed no evidence of misbehaviour or criminality by a garda. In the remaining cases, full investigations were undertaken.
The most common circumstances giving rise to referrals are generally road policing, arrest and police custody. The table below lists the referral investigations closed in 2014, and describes the types of investigations that were undertaken and their outcomes.