Gsoc investigates interaction between gardaí and driver in fatal crash

Róisín Hession (16) killed when car hit wall in Galway

Garda has appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Salthill station. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) is investigating interactions between gardaí and the driver of a car that was involved in a fatal crash in Co Galway at the weekend.

The matter was referred to Gsoc shortly after the crash when it was established that the car had “an interaction” with gardaí late on Saturday or early on Sunday.

The nature of the interaction remains unknown but it is understood there was not a car chase. Gsoc is obliged to investigate all fatal incidents where the deceased had contact with gardaí beforehand.

Róisín Hession (16) was killed when the car she was a passenger in hit a wall at about 1.15am on Sunday in Porridgetown, Oughterard. The driver of the car, a man (21), suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.


It is understood there was garda activity around Oughterard and that the man driving the car may have interacted with a garda car that was on patrol.

A Gsoc spokeswoman said the organisation was alerted in the hours after the crash by the local Garda superintendent.

“The referral under section 102 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 indicated there had been an interaction between a garda and the vehicle which subsequently crashed. The matter is now under examination by Gsoc.”

Section 102 (1) obliges the Garda to notify Gsoc of “any matter that appears to the Garda Commissioner to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

Gsoc investigators are conducting an initial assessment to determine if a full investigation is required.

The Garda confirmed Gsoc is involved and appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Salthill station on (091) 514720, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Ms Hession was one of seven people killed on the State’s roads over the weekend.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times