Garda complainant raised series of concerns

Earlier complaints do not relate to senior officer suspended pending inquiry outcome

The rank-and-file garda who made the complaints Gsoc is investigating previously made other complaints against other colleagues with whom he worked closely.

The rank-and-file garda who made the complaints Gsoc is investigating previously made other complaints against other colleagues with whom he worked closely.

 

A garda who has made complaints against a senior officer, leading to that officer’s suspension, raised a series of concerns in the past about his alleged treatment at the hands of other Garda colleagues.

Those earlier complaints, over a number of years, do not relate to the senior officer who was suspended this week by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris pending the outcome of an inquiry.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) is now carrying out that investigation into allegations made late last year by the rank-and-file member.

The investigation by Gsoc has just begun and none of the allegations made against the senior officer has been proven, or even been properly tested yet.

He was suspended at lunchtime on Thursday after the commissioner decided that suspension was in the interests of the force.

However, the suspension is without prejudice, and no adverse findings of any kind have been made. It came a day after The Irish Times revealed he was under investigation for alleged serious misconduct.

Complaints

The rank-and-file garda who made the complaints that Gsoc is now investigating has previously made other complaints against other colleagues with whom he worked closely.

Some alleged verbal abuse and even physical assault. Some became formal complaints. Some were upheld, others were not.

However, during investigations into the complaints, the member was not satisfied the Garda force was taking him seriously and not conducting a thorough inquiry. He lodged complaints about this.

Two other events occurred that he raised concerns about. He was involved in a physical altercation which was recorded on the CCTV at an ATM machine. The other party claimed the garda had assaulted them.

It soon became clear the garda was the victim of the assault and the criminal investigation treated him as such. However, the garda was suspended from duty for just under three months.

He was reinstated when it became clear beyond doubt that he was the victim. He was upset about the suspension and began to make plans to leave the force.

However, he remained a garda.

Late last year he lodged a protected disclosure, which now forms the basis of the Gsoc investigation, in which he alleges the senior officer now under investigation had a role in suspending him.

Meanwhile, the garda had applied for a position in a specialist Garda unit when he had been absent from work a number of times. His absence, it was accepted, was due to the alleged bullying and harassment.

The garda has claimed he should not have been asked about these absences during his interview. However, he was asked about them and he failed to advance in the competition.

He appealed, and was put through to the next round, but was eventually unsuccessful. However, the decision of a senior Garda figure to put him through to the next round resulted in a dispute with another senior member of the force.