Garda Ombudsman: our record on spurious complaints is "appalling"

Six out of 26 vexatious complaints resulted in prosecution

The head of the garda watchdog has admitted that their record for prosecuting vexatious complaints is "appalling".

Some 26 files have been sent to the DPP for false complaints about gardai, - but 15 of these were returned with no prosecution.

Of the 11 cases that went to court, just six people were convicted.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring, the chairwoman of the Garda Ombudsman Commission, says it’s very difficult to prove as it is similar to perjury in the courts.

She told the Association of Garda Superintendents that files were sent to the DPP but came back directing the Ombudsman not to prosecute. 

In addition, the Garda Ombudsman is considering returning to a system whereby complaints are only accepted in writing, rather than online, to cut down on false or vexatious complaints.

Judge Ring also said that a large number of spurious complaints against gardaí arrived by e-mail or late at night and that perhaps it was time to start only accepting them by letter.