GSOC timeline

A timeline of the GSOC controversy

September 2013: GSOC employs security experts Verrimus to carry out a secret surveillance sweep of its offices when their suspicions were alerted after it appeared a senior garda knew more about the Kieran Boylan drugs case than GSOC thought it did. Two “technical anomalies” or security threats identified.

October 7: A third security threat identified — equipment used was only available to government-level agencies.

October 8: GSOC launches a public interest investigation under the Garda Síochána Act on suspicion surveillance may have originated from within the force.

December 2013: GSOC decides to improve security at its offices. Ombudsman Simon O’Brien takes “strategic decision” not to inform Justice Minister Alan Shatter of the Verrimus report findings.

February 9, 2014: Sunday Times reports there were three attempts to either spy on or bug the GSOC HQ in Dublin.

February 10: Taoiseach Enda Kenny misinterprets legislation claiming onus on Mr O’Brien to report investigation to Mr Shatter.

Alan Shatter summons O’Brien for two-hour meeting. Mr O’Brien later releases statement saying threats could not be comprehensively explained. The GSOC chairman says no evidence of garda misconduct and expresses regret at not informing Mr Shatter before Christmas.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan expresses grave concern that GSOC statement implies gardaí are suspects.

Government rejects opposition calls for an independent inquiry.

February 11: Simon O’Brien and Martin Callinan have two-hour meeting over coffee. Both agree to try and put episode behind them.

AGSI call on Mr O’Brien to consider his position.

Mr Shatter tells Dáil no evidence of bugging and accusations against gardaí were “baseless innuendo”.

Ombudsman Kieran Fitzgerald tells RTÉ’s Prime Time while it cannot say definitively they were bugged a benign explanation for some of the anomalies was “remote to zero”.

February 12: O’Brien tells Oireachtas Oversight Committee he suspects the offices were bugged and says it could have been the gardaí. GSOC, he says, ended up holding meeting in cages in Dublin because of bugging fears.

February 13: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore tells the Dáil he is satisfied no arm of the State had any involvement in suspected GSOC bugging.

Alan Shatter tells Prime Time he did not mislead Dáil. Mr Shatter describes Ombudsman’s O’Brien’s committee evidence as confused and contradictory and does not express confidence in Mr O’Brien.

February 14: Mr Shatter expresses confidence in GSOC and Commissioner Callinan says there was no authorised or unauthorised garda involvement in bugging scandal.

GSOC take legal advice and initiate internal leak probe.

February 16: Sunday Times reports GSOC suspicions raised when senior garda inadvertently revealed he was in possession of information from a secret GSOC report.

Monday: Verrimus confirms it made a hi-tech equipment demonstration at Garda HQ at the same time as it was carrying out secret security sweep at GSOC offices. Gardaí said Verrimus requested the meeting, the company claims opposite.

Tuesday: Government announces it will appoint a retired judge to investigate controversy — reason for U-turn is Mr Shatter had more information which resulted in less clarity on the issue.

Legislation surrounding GSOC is to be reviewed by Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence.

Wednesday: Mr Shatter to appear before Oireachtas Oversight Committee.

More on this topic

Gsoc probes garda’s claims of pub law abusesGsoc probes garda’s claims of pub law abuses

Parallel investigations by gardaí and GSOC into Dublin road fatality Parallel investigations by gardaí and GSOC into Dublin road fatality

GSOC investigated 49 whistleblower complaints last yearGSOC investigated 49 whistleblower complaints last year

GSOC examining circumstances surrounding death of man after Midland Regional Hospital incidentGSOC examining circumstances surrounding death of man after Midland Regional Hospital incident


Posh Cork's agony aunt: sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: why aren't William and Kate coming to Cork?

Festival season approaches, legends come to the Opera House, and a young Irish phenomenon continues to impact on UK telly, writes Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll.Scene and Heard: 'the major voice of a generation'

In advance of this weekend’s Ortús festival of chamber music in Cork, musician and co-organiser Mairead Hickey talks violins with Cathy Desmond.Máiréad Hickey: ‘If money was no object, it would be lovely to play a Stradivarius’

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is thrilled to be playing the band’s older material in a new group that he’s bringing to Ireland. But what chances of a final reunion, asks Richard Purden.Pink Floyd's Nick Mason: over the moon

More From The Irish Examiner