Gsoc to staff up as whistleblower gardaí number rises

Spike in confidential disclosures about alleged wrongdoing in force noted

Offices of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) Photograph:  Collins Photos

Offices of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) Photograph: Collins Photos

 

The number of Garda members making confidential disclosures about alleged wrongdoing in the force witnessed a spike at the start of the year.

New investigators, and additional staff to support them, have now been sanctioned by Government to ensure the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) can investigate the allegations being made.

The commission has said that since the 2014 enactment of the Protected Disclosures Act, the number of disclosures received has reached 24.

It added there was an increase in such disclosures in early 2017. That may have been linked to the Government establishing the Charleton tribunal, sources said. It is examining, among other matters, whether there was a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Last October Supt David Taylor, the former head of the Garda press office, and Sgt McCabe both made confidential disclosures alleging a smear campaign. Their allegations are now being examined by the tribunal.

Informed sources said it was possible the publicity around the establishment of the tribunal in February had prompted some Garda members into making their own disclosures about various matters.

Because of the workload involved in investigating disclosures, the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has now sanctioned the recruitment by Gsoc of four new investigators and support staff to assist them.