Gardaí fined 4,595 times for disciplinary breaches over five years

Total of €357,930 deducted from pay of Garda members over breaches

In 2017, 484 fines were imposed on 148 Garda members, resulting in payroll deductions of €60,675.

In 2017, 484 fines were imposed on 148 Garda members, resulting in payroll deductions of €60,675.

 

A total of 4,595 fines were issued against members of An Garda Síochána for disciplinary breaches over a five-year period, leading to €357,930 being deducted from their wages and salaries, new figures show.

The fines were imposed for a range of offences that included discreditable conduct, neglect of duty, falsehood or prevarication, discourtesy and engaging in corrupt or improper practice.

The money was paid into an account that funds a Garda welfare scheme and chaplaincy services. There was a balance of €468,111 in the account at the end of 2017.

Records released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the same gardaí have been fined multiple times for disciplinary breaches in each of the five years between 2013 and 2018.

In 2017, 484 fines were imposed on 148 Garda members, resulting in payroll deductions of €60,675. The largest of these was €10,800 for “discreditable conduct, neglect of duty and falsehood/prevarication”.

During the previous year, some 1,040 fines worth €88,464 were imposed on 130 members of force; while 167 individuals were accountable for 1,042 fines totalling €82,743 in 2015.

The money collected from disciplinary deductions is lodged in the Garda reward fund suspense account, which supports the employee assistance service and the Garda reward fund welfare scheme.

Chaplaincy services

A total of €22,500 is also paid from the account to the Catholic Obsequies Association for chaplaincy services each year, while €2,500 is paid to the Church of Ireland Archdeacon.

“Other payments from the account include those made to the employee assistance service under the Garda reward fund welfare scheme,” a spokesman said.

“[This is] a proactive response by An Garda Síochána to support and assist members in managing and resolving work and personal difficulties at an early stage, and in an effort to manage their health and well-being.”

These transfers are described in annual reports for the suspense account only as “other payments to individuals”, and totalled €108,743 over the five-year period.

In a business case for the retention of the reward fund submitted by An Garda Síochána to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in 2012, it stated that money from the account was also used to buy Scott medals, which are awarded for acts of bravery by gardaí.

The suspense account has recorded a surplus in each of the years between 2013 and 2018, during which time the balance has increased from €345,274 to €468,111.

An Garda Síochána does not comment on disciplinary issues.