Garda sexual harassment claims investigated by force

Gardaí are investigating a number of complaints of sexual harassment and bullying made by members of the force against colleagues.

Garda sexual harassment claims investigated by force

The Garda Human Resources department is investigating eight complaints of bullying made by gardaí against other members since 2012. Two sexual harassment allegations made this year and last are also being examined.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show gardaí have made 32 bullying and harassment complaints from 2012 to the end of October this year.

Seven allegations of sexual harassment against colleagues were also made by gardaí since 2010.

Just three of the bullying allegations have been upheld. Of the 29 other allegations, 15 were not upheld, eight are ongoing, three were withdrawn, and two were categorised as “resolved”.

Another allegation found the accused had no case to answer. Of the seven sexual harassment allegations, three were upheld, one was resolved informally, and two investigations are ongoing. The three upheld complaints led to gardaí being dealt with under disciplinary regulations.

Superintendent Helen Deely, Garda freedom of information officer, said the complaints should be seen in the context of the number of gardaí in the force, which is more than 14,000 strong, including reserves.

“An Garda Síochána expects its officers to behave with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism at all times, and any conduct which brings, or is likely to bring, discredit on the organisation will be investigated,” said Supt Deely.

Gardaí are subject to regulations which say that disciplinary matters which are deemed to be minor in nature are handled at local district level. An Garda Síochána’s annual reports for 2012 to 2014 revealed that 84 members of the force were found in breach of discipline.

Gardaí found in breach of discipline rules were cautioned, warned, reprimanded or fined. A total of €28,790.12 was paid in fines by members between 2010 and 2014.

A request for information on the counties where the complaints were made was refused amid concerns those involved may be identified.

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