The Minister, Equality and Law Reform today launched the 2006 Annual Report of the Garda Síochána Complaints Board.
This report marks the last full year of operations by the Board. Since 9th May last, all new complaints are dealt with by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. The Garda Síochána Act sets out the transition arrangements, which in effect means that complaints received by the Complaints Board and where an Investigating Officer has been appointed prior to the opening of the doors of the Ombudsman Commission will continue to be dealt with by the Board. Therefore, the Complaints Board will continue in existence to deal with these cases on hand.
Launching the report, the Minister Lenihan said "I wish to pay tribute to the Chairman, Gordon Holmes, and the Board members for their continued dedication and professionalism in managing both the daily tasks of the Board and the smooth transition to the Garda Ombudsman Commission.
The re-appointment by the Government last April of the outgoing Board for a further term will ensure continuity of service as the Complaints Board brings to a conclusion the remaining cases before it."
The 2006 Annual Report highlights an increase in the number of cases received during the year, 1,350 as compared with 1,173 in 2005. The Board continues to ensure that cases are dealt with speedily and the Minister welcomes the fact that 96% of cases on hand at the end of last year are less than one year old.
The vast majority of complaints received by the Board refer to "Abuse of Authority", "Discourtesy" or "Neglect of Duty". The decisions of the Board in the cases on which it adjudicated in 2006 (excluding those deemed inadmissible) were as follows:
- No offence or breach of discipline 222 (72%)
- Referred to the Garda Commissioner where a
minor breach of discipline may have been disclosed. 63 (20%)
- Referred to the Complaints Tribunal
where it was judged that a more serious breach of
discipline may have occurred 25 (8%)
1 August 2007