Written answers

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Garda Complaints Procedures

11:00 am

Photo of John McGuinnessJohn McGuinness (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 209: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform if he will confirm where a person who has made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman has died, that the complaint will still be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46524/10]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I have been informed by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) that the death of a complainant does not act as a bar to the investigation of a complaint of misbehaviour by a Garda member. Provided the complaint fulfils the admissibility criteria set down in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, it will be admitted and sent for investigation. However, the fact that a complainant has died could, depending on the circumstances of the case, impact upon the progress of the investigation in particular, for example, where the complainant is a crucial witness. One cannot rule out the possibility that in the absence of the testimony of the complainant, it is no longer practicable to proceed with the investigation. However each case is dealt with on its own merits by GSOC.

As the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is independent in the exercise of its functions, the decision to continue with an investigation in a situation such as this, is a matter solely for the Commission.

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