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Garda did not investigate rape complaint despite being reminded 15 times

The case was detailed in GSOC’s latest annual report.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A GARDA WAS reminded 15 times to follow up a rape allegation but did not do so, a report by the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has revealed.

The case was outlined as part of GSOC’s annual report, which recorded a slight decrease in the number of complaints made to the garda watchdog last year.

The case in question saw the garda disciplined and fined for a neglect of duty.

GSOC’s report describes how the woman reported a rape to two gardaí but that it was not investigated nor was she contacted afterwards.

The woman complained to GSOC.

GSOC found that the investigating garda took a statement from the woman “but did nothing further with the statement”.

The garda had claimed that the matter was referred to detectives but GSOC found no documentary evidence that this referral was made.

“The records did show that the investigating garda received 15 separate reminders to progress the allegation but none of the reminders were acted upon,” GSOC said.

The GSOC report was sent to the Garda Commissioner and the garda was found to be in neglect of duty for failing to investigate an allegation of rape and was fined.

No disciplinary action was taken against the second garda after GSOC found they had “no further dealings with the case and was unaware of the lack of progress”.

Neglect of duty

Neglect of duty was the most common allegation made against gardaí in complaints to GSOC last year.

GSOC’s report outlined that 32% of all complaints related to alleged neglect of duty, some of these related to more minor instances including not returning a phone call.

The report also outlines an instance of gardaí carrying out a drugs raid on the wrong house.

The incident took place at a family home early in the morning with gardaí entered and asked the complainant, “where are the drugs?”.

“Two men entered the home and did not declare from the outset that they were garda members—it was only when two uniformed gardaí entered the home did the complainant realise that the first two men were gardaí and that a drug search was under way,” the GSOC report states.

A search was carried out in the main bedroom, the kitchen and the garden. The complainant continued to be questioned by gardaí about the whereabouts of drugs. The complainant continued to state “this must be a mistake”.

“The complainant said that gardaí were in the house for about 15 minutes and as they were leaving, one of them said that it must be the wrong house. The complainant was shown a warrant and confirmed that the address was the one stated on the warrant.”

The complaint led to disciplinary proceedings being brought against the garda who obtained the search warrant.

The garda was found to be in breach of regulations on one count of discreditable conduct and was dealt with by way of caution and advice.

The GSOC report also dealt with a number of complaints that were investigated but were subsequently dropped.

In total, over 2,100 allegations were discontinued because there was no independent evidence to prove an allegation.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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