Almost twice as many garda dismissals last year compared to previous five years

Almost twice as many garda dismissals last year compared to previous five years

There were 10 Gardaí dismissed from the force last year — almost double the number of Gardai dismissed from the force over the previous five years.

In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Gardaí state that the total number of dismissals last year amounted to 10 — but have declined to provide the reasons for the dismissals or the Garda rank in each case.

Garda figures show that the 10 dismissals for last year compares to two dismissals in 2018, one in 2017, zero for 2016, three in 2015 and zero for 2014.

The surge in garda dismissals coincided with Commissioner Drew Harris’s first full year in the post.

Asked the factors behind the sharp increase, a Garda spokeswoman stated: “Any decision as to the dismissal of a member of An Garda Síochána is on a case-by-case basis and is carried out based solely on the merits of each individual case. The number of members dismissed from An Garda Síochána each year will fluctuate according to the specificity of cases, presented to the organisation in any year."

Concerning the reasons for dismissal, the spokeswoman stated: “Each case of dismissal is individual, to provide any reasons for dismissal exposes the dismissed member to the possibility of being identified.”

This echoed the view of the Garda FOI unit which stated that due to the small number of cases involved, releasing the reason for dismissal the persons in question “could become more identifiable and possibly named in the public domain”.

The Garda also declined to provide a breakdown of the number of dismissals inside the Dublin region and the rest of the country.

The spokeswoman stated: “Given the total number of dismissals within An Garda Síochána in 2019, 10, identifying the geographical areas for dismissal exposes the dismissed members to the possibility of being identified.”

Asked to comment the surge in dismissals, a spokesman for the Dept of Justice stated: “The Department has no role in relation to dismissal of Garda members. Further, the Department does not comment on individual cases."

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