GSOC sees surge in number of gardaí contacting it

The watchdog is to hire extra staff to cope with the workload

GSOC sees surge in number of gardaí contacting it

File photo of the Garda Ombudsman office in Dublin | Image:

There has been a surge in the number of gardaí contacting the force's own watchdog.

A report in the Irish Examiner says the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has recieved 13 disclosures so far this year, compared to 11 over the last three years.

The ombudsman currently has 27 ongoing investigations, some of which were started back in 2014.

To date, there have been 24 disclosures made to GSOC since 2014 under the Protected Disclosures Act.

In a statement, GSOC says four investigators and a support staff member are to be hired to assist in the investigations.

GSOC says: "In 2014 the passing of the Protected Disclosures Act brought into effect a very important safeguard across Irish society to encourage and protect people who wished to bring out bad, sometimes illegal, practice that they were, and/or are still experiencing, in their work lives."

It says while there had previously been disclosures through the Confidential Recipient system, the 2014 act promised more structure and protections.

"In the almost three years since the legislation was passed GSOC has not received any additional personnel or accompanying resources to carry out the necessary investigations.

"GSOC has had to 'add on' this important work to an already congested workload."

The statement adds: "The allocation of five staff members is welcomed by GSOC and the steps are already underway to fill the posts."