Gsoc could investigate TD’s allegations about Jobstown trial

Garda watchdog must receive complaints within six-month time frame

The criteria for what constitutes grounds for complaint to Garda watchdog Gsoc are very broad and are set out in Section 83 of the Garda Síochána Act. Photograph: Collins

The criteria for what constitutes grounds for complaint to Garda watchdog Gsoc are very broad and are set out in Section 83 of the Garda Síochána Act. Photograph: Collins

 

Allegations of Garda misconduct in court during the Jobstown trial could be investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) if those involved chose to make a formal complaint.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy has alleged the charges and subsequent trial that he and five other people from the water charge protest movement were subjected to was a “stitch-up” and a conspiracy.

Mr Murphy said in the Dáil yesterday he believed numerous gardaí lied under oath.

“I think they did so in a coordinated way. I think that implies an agreement to commit perjury,” he said.

Security sources told The Irish Times that concerns around the conduct of Garda members in court could be made to Gsoc.

It states: “a complaint concerning any conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána that is alleged to constitute misbehaviour may be made to the Ombudsman Commission”.

Justice sources confirmed that the conduct of Garda members in court falls under the “any conduct” provision in the legislation.

In reply to queries, a spokesman for Gsoc said no complaints about the trial had been lodged to date.

The commission is independent of the Garda and has its own investigators with police-style powers. This includes the power of searching and arresting Garda members and searching their telephone and computer records.

A complaint must be made to Gsoc within six month of the event or conduct that gives rise to it.

Mr Murphy has complained to Gsoc in the past about members of the Garda.

In 2011, then a Socialist Party MEP, he complained he had been subjected to excessive force by gardaí during the protest over Shell’s Corrib gas project in Rossport, Co Mayo.

He said he was left with bruising and was unable to chew properly for a number of days after gardaí used “pressure point” techniques on him when removing him and other protesters.

No prosecutions of gardaí resulted from his complaint.