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Garda Complaints' Procedure

Could I get help somehow please with bent Guards, Solicitors and even Judges; Could you put me on to someone who could help. I went to a Solicitor about what happened and they won’t take your case then because they are not going to fight one of their own or tell a Guard or a Judge he did wrong.

The answer to that is – if I understand this Listener correctly – his main complaint is against the Gardai and that he has consulted a Solicitor and possibly even taken a case to Court where the Judge may have ruled against him in favour of a Garda.   

Firstly let me say that a complaint against a Garda can be referred directly to the Garda Ombudsman’s Office (www.gardaombudsman.ie) and you don't need a solicitor to do it.

We have referred a number of cases directly to the Garda Ombudsman’s Office and from our experience it is a excellent service and they will deal with the case openly and in a transparent way.    The Garda Ombudsman’s office have former police men and women from other countries such as the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia,  - they will not know the Gardai that they are investigating and therefore will not find themselves in any conflict of interest.  This ensures that the case will be properly dealt with.

The Listener should read the Annual Report of the Garda Ombudsman recently published on their website and see the extent of their powers and how far they are willing to go to ensure that the Gardai do their duty.

Regarding Solicitors not taking cases  -  no Solicitor is going to take a case that are un-winnable because it would be unfair to you the client and would in my opinion be unlawful  and equally - regarding Judges not giving what I think this listener is complaining about – an unfavourable decision -   all that a Judge can do is decide on the case as presented to him or her based on the evidence available.    The McBrearty and Shortt cases are primary examples of how a small number of Gardai in a very honest force can manipulate a situation to their own advantage.

If this Listener has a problem,  make an appointment to see somebody in the Garda Ombudsman’s office and try and tease out the problem on a face to face basis,  hopefully that this will give him/her confidence in the process.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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