Garda Síochána

Garda Síochána

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = Garda Síochána na hÉireann
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commonname = Garda Síochána
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badge = Gardaí.jpg
badgecaption = Badge of Garda Síochána na hÉireann

flagcaption = Flag of the _ga. Garda Síochána
imagesize = 150
motto =
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mission =
formedyear = 1922
formedmonthday =
preceding1 = Royal Irish Constabulary
preceding2 = Irish Republican Police
preceding3 = Dublin Metropolitan Police (in 1925)
dissolved =
superseding =
employees =
volunteers =
budget =
nongovernment =
country = Republic of Ireland
countryabbr = Ireland
national = Yes

mapcaption = Garda Síochána na hÉireann area
sizearea = 70,273 km²
sizepopulation = 4,239,848
legaljuris =
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constitution1 =
police = Yes
local = Yes
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headquarters = Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin

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sworntype = Officer
sworn = 13,821
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minister1name =
minister1pfo =
chief1name = Fachtna Murphy
chief1position = Commissioner
parentagency =
child1agency = Garda Síochána Reserve
unittype = Section
unitname = collapsible list |title=14 |Criminal Assets Bureau |Special Detective Unit |Water Unit |Dog Unit |Mounted Unit |National Bureau of Criminal Investigation |National Immigration Bureau |Bureau of Fraud Investigation |Public Order Unit |Emergency Response Unit |Technical Bureau |Central Vetting Unit |Garda Information Services Centre |Air Support Unit
officetype = Region
officename = 6
provideragency =
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stations = 703
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boats1 = Yes
boat2type = Scuba diver
boats2 = Yes
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aircraft1 = 2 Helicopters 1 Fixed Wing Aircraft
animal1type = Dog
animals1 = 19
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_ga. "Garda Síochána na hÉireann" (pronounced|ˈgaːrdə ʃiːˈxaːnə nə ˈheːɾʲən; Irish for "Peace Guard of Ireland", often rendered [cite web |url= |title=Short History of An Garda Siochana |publisher=Garda Síochána |accessdate=2006-12-17 |quote=the Garda Síochána (meaning in English: "The Guardians of the Peace") ] as "The Guardians of the Peace of Ireland") is the police force of the Republic of Ireland.

The force is headed by the _ga. Garda Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.


The former English language name of the force was the Civic Guard; this is no longer used. [cite book
title=A Dictionary of Hiberno English: the Irish use of English
first=Terence Patrick
publisher=Gill & Macmillan Ltd
] In Hiberno-English the force is known (in decreasing order of formality) as _ga. An Garda Síochána ( _ga. "An" pronounced IPA| [ən] ); the _ga. Garda Síochána; the _ga. Garda (in the preceding names, " _ga. Garda" "guard" is a collective noun, like "police"); the _ga. Gardaí (IPA| [gaːrdiː] ; "guards", plural); or the guards. "Police" is used infrequently and "policeman" rarely.

An individual officer is also called a " _ga. garda" (plural " _ga. gardaí"), or, informally, a guard. A police station is called a " _ga. Garda station". " _ga. Garda" is also the lowest rank within the force, also used as a title (e.g. " _ga. Garda John Murphy", analogous to the British term "constable" or the American "officer" ("deputy/trooper/etc."). "Guard" is the most common form of address used by members of the public speaking to a garda on duty. A female officer was once officially referred to as a " _ga. bangharda" (IPA| [banɣaːrdə; "female guard"; plural " _ga. banghardaí"). This term was abolished in 1990, [ [ Written Answers - Garda Titles] from Dáil Éireann - Volume 404 - 5 February 1991] but is still used colloquially in place of the now gender-neutral " _ga. garda".

One United Kingdom politician, the Ulster Unionist party's Lord Laird has called for a change in the name of the force to " _ga. An Garda Síochána/ _sc. Hannin Polis" drawing a comparison with the renaming of the Northern Ireland police force from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. [ [ - Gearrthóga Laethúla ] ] There is no indication that Lord Laird's proposal is under consideration.


The force is headed by the Commissioner. His immediate subordinates are the two Deputy Commissioners, one in charge of "Strategic and Resource Management", and the other in charge of "Operations". "Strategic and Resource Management" primarily deals with national organisational and technical matters and does not directly deal with crime, whilst the majority of operational and staffing matters comes under "Operations". There are ten Assistant Commissioners: and six of them are geographically based, the other four are assigned to various national support roles. A civilian Director of Finance is placed at a similar organisational level to the Assistant Commissioners.

The six geographical "Assistant Commissioners" command the six " _ga. Garda Force Regions", which are currently:
#Dublin Metropolitan

Subordinate to the Assistant Commissioners there are twenty-five Chief Superintendents, who supervise what are called Divisions. Each Division contains a number of Districts, each of which is commanded by a Superintendent, who is assisted by a team of Inspectors. Within each District there are a number of Subdistricts, which are usually commanded by Sergeants.

Typically each Subdistrict contains only one police station. A different number of _ga. Gardaí will be based at each station depending on its importance. Most of these stations employ the basic rank of _ga. Garda, which was referred to as the rank of Guard until 1972. The most junior members of the force are students, whose duties can vary depending on their training progress. They are often bestowed with clerical duties, as part of their extra curriculum studies.

The force also has over 2,000 civilian support staff, including a Chief Administrative Officer at Deputy Commissioner level and a Chief Medical Officer. These 2,000 civilian posts encompass a diverse range of areas such as human resources, finance, IT, photographers, research and analysis, teaching and general administration. The figure also includes industrial staff such as traffic wardens, drivers and cleaners. It is ongoing government policy to bring the level of civilian support in the organisation up to international standards - thus enhancing its expertise in a range of specialist and administrative functions, and releasing more of its police officers for operational duties.

_ga. Garda Reserve

The _ga. Garda Síochána Act 2005 provided for the establishment of a Garda Reserve, consisting of 4,000 people, to assist the force in performing its functions, and supplement the work of members of the _ga. Garda Síochána.

The intent of the _ga. Garda Reserve is "to be a source of local strength and knowledge". Reserve members are to carry out duties defined by the _ga. Garda Commissioner and sanctioned by the Minister for Justice. With reduced training, these duties and powers must be operated under the supervision of regular members of the Force, and are also limited from those of regular members.

As of December 2006 more than 7,000 people had applied to join the _ga. Garda Reserve, and the first 36 graduated on 15 December 2006 at the Garda College, in Templemore.cite news
title=First Garda Reserve members graduate
work=RTÉ News


*Criminal Assets Bureau
*Special Detective Unit (Irish: Aonad Speisialta Bleachtaireachta)
*Water Unit {Irish: Aonad Uisce an Gharda Síochána)
*Dog Unit
*Mounted Unit
*National Bureau of Criminal Investigation
*National Immigration Bureau
*Bureau of Fraud Investigation
*Public Order Unit
*National Surveillance Unit
*Emergency Response Unit
*Technical Bureau
*Central Vetting Unit
*Garda Information Services Centre
*Air Support Unit
*Organised Crime Unit

An unarmed force

Uniformed members of the _ga. Garda Síochána do not routinely carry firearms. It is a tradition of the service that standard policing should be carried out in both rural and urban areas by uniformed officers equipped only with a wooden truncheon (from March 2007 new _ga. Gardaí leaving the training college are equipped with ASP 21" Extendable Batons. In time the whole force will be equipped with same dependent on training requirements). The force when originally created was armed, but in a u-turn the Provisional Government decided to reverse the decision and reconstitute the force as an unarmed police force, in contrast to the refusal of the British Dublin Castle administration which had refused appeals from the Royal Irish Constabulary that that force be disarmed.cite book
title=1922: The Birth of Irish Democracy
publisher=Gill and Macmillan
edition=3rd edition
] In the words of first Commissioner, Michael Staines, TD:

According to Garvin such a decision gave the new force a cultural ace: "the taboo on killing unarmed men and women who could not reasonably be seen as spies and informers."

According to a recent government report, 3,000 (out of 12,000) members of the force are armedndash this includes the Emergency Response Unit and Special Branch/Special Detective Unit (SDU) as well as the majority of detectives. However, all officers are trained in the use of firearms while undergoing police training. Fact|date=April 2008



Several models of offroad vehicle are also operated, including the Trooper, Jeep Cherokee and Nissan Navara. The traffic corps have also recently purchased new BMW 5 series for everyday use.

The Gardaí are also involved in the operation of cars transporting members of Government, Including the Mercedes S-Class, Mercedes E-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A6, Audi A8 and Volvo S80.


The Civic Guard was formed by the Provisional Government in February 1922 to take over the responsibility of policing the fledgling Irish Free State. It replaced the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Irish Republican Police of 1919-1922. In August 1922 the force accompanied Michael Collins when he met the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin Castle. [According to Irish constitutional theory he met the Lord Lieutenant to accept the surrender of Dublin Castle. However, as far as the British government were concerned, the purpose of the meeting was for the Lord Lieutenant to formally appoint Collins as Chairman of the Provisional Government.]

The Garda Síochána (Temporary Provisions) Act 1923 enacted after the creation of the Irish Free State on 8 August 1923, [cite web
title=Garda Síochána (Temporary Provisions) Act 1923
] provided for the creation of "a force of police to be called and known as 'The _ga. Garda Síochána'". Under section 22, The Civic Guard were deemed to have been established under and to be governed by the Act. The law therefore effectively renamed the existing force.

In Dublin, policing remained the responsibility of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP, founded 1836) until it merged with the _ga. Garda Síochána in 1925. Since then the _ga. Garda has been the only police force in the state now known as the Republic of Ireland, with the exception of the Military Police within the Irish Defence Forces, the Airport Police, and Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire Harbour police forces.

Scott Medal

First established in 1925, the Scott Medal for Bravery is the highest honour for bravery and valour which can be awarded to a member of the Garda Síochána. The first medals were funded by Colonel Walter Scott, an honorary Commissioner of the New York Police Department. [ [ - History of the Scott Medal] ] The first recipient of the Scott Medal was Pat Malone of St. Luke's Cork City who - as an unarmed _ga. Garda - disarmed Tomás Óg Mac Curtain (the son of Tomás Mac Curtain).

To mark the United States link, the American English spelling of "valor" is used on the medal. The _ga. Garda Commissioner chooses the recipients of the medal, which is presented by the Minister for Justice.

In 2000, Anne McCabe - widow of Garda Jerry McCabe, who was killed by armed Provisional IRA bank robbers accepted the Scott Medal for Bravery that had been awarded posthumously to her husband.cite web
title=Murdered garda hero honoured
publisher= [ Irish Examiner]
work=Encyclopedia of Things

The Irish Republican Police had at least one member killed by the RIC 21 July 1920.
The Civic Guard had one killed by accident 22 September 1922. Likewise 4 members of the Oriel House CID killed/Died of wounds [ [] ]
The _ga. Garda Roll of Honor lists 31 members of the _ga. Garda killed between 1922 and 1999. {See Below}

_ga. Garda Commissioners

The first Commissioner, Michael Staines, who was a Pro-Treaty member of _ga. Dáil Éireann, held office for only eight months. It was his successors, Eoin O'Duffy and Éamon Broy, who played a central role in the development of the force. O’Duffy was Commissioner in the early years of the force when to many people’s surprise the viability of an unarmed police force was established. O'Duffy later became a short-lived political leader of the quasi-fascist Blueshirts before heading to Spain to fight alongside Francisco Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Broy had greatly assisted the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the Anglo-Irish War, while serving with the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP). Broy's fame grew in the 1990s when he featured in the film "Michael Collins", in which it was misleadingly suggested that he had been murdered by the British during the War of Independence, when in reality he lived for decades and headed the _ga. Garda Síochána from 1933 to 1938.

One later Commissioner, Edmund Garvey, was sacked by the _ga. Fianna Fáil government of Jack Lynch in 1978 after it had lost confidence in him. Garvey won 'unfair dismissal' legal proceedings against the government.Fact|date=June 2008 The case made its way to the Supreme Court which found the action of the government improper.Fact|date=June 2008 This outcome required the passing of the _ga. Garda Síochána Act 1979 to retrospectively validate the actions of Garvey's successor since he had become Commissioner. [cite web
title= _ga. Garda Síochána Act 1979
] His successor in turn, Patrick McLaughlin, was forced to resign along with his deputy in 1983 over his peripheral involvement in a political scandal. The current Commissioner, since November 2007, is Fachtna Murphy.

Past reserve forces

During the Emergency there were two reserve forces to the _ga. Garda Síochána, _ga. An Taca Síochána and the Local Security Force [ [ Analysis: McDowell not for turning on Garda reserve, February 26, 2006, The Sunday Business Post] .

_ga. An Taca Síochána had the power of arrest and wore uniform, and were allowed to leave the reserve or sign-up as full members of the _ga. Garda Síochána at the end of the war before the reserve was disbanded. The reserve was established by the Emergency Powers (Temporary Special Police Force) Order, 1939.

The Local Security Force (LSF) did not have the power of arrest, and part of the reserve was soon absorbed into the Irish Army Reserve under the command of the Irish Army [ [ Army Reserve - History, The Defense Forces, Retrieved May 23, 2008] ] .

Policing abroad

Since 1989, the _ga. Garda Síochána has undertaken United Nations peace-keeping duties. Its first such mission was a 50 strong contingent sent to Namibia. Since then the force has acted in Angola, Cambodia, Cyprus, Mozambique, South Africa and the former Yugoslavia. The force's first fatality whilst working abroad was Sergeant Paul M. Reid, who was fatally injured while on duty with the United Nations UNPROFOR at "Sniper's Alley" in Sarajevo on 18 May 1995.

Members of the _ga. Garda Síochána also serve in the Embassies of Ireland in London, The Hague, Madrid and Paris. Members are also seconded to Europol in The Hague, Holland and Interpol in Lyon, France. There are also many members working directly for UN and European agencies such as the War Crimes Tribunal.

_ga. Garda officers also co-operate with members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in order to combat cross-border crime. They have also accompanied politicians from the Republic, such as the President on visits to Northern Ireland.

Under an agreement with the British Government and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the _ga. Garda Síochána and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland are allowed to inspect the Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria, England.

Controversy and allegations involving the force

Like most police forces there have been many allegations of discourtesy, harassment, confiscating a person's property but using it for their own purposes, aggressive interrogation techniques, perjury, etc. [ [,114,en.pdf _ga. Garda Síochána Complaints Board - Annual Report 2005] ] While most allegations have not been proven, many out-of-court settlements have been made. A total of 1,173 complaints were made by the public against the _ga. Gardaí in 2005.cite web
title=More than 1,000 complaints against gardaí in year
] Some incidents involving the _ga. Garda Síochána have attracted wide scale attention - such as those which resulted in the Morris and Barr Tribunal's - and have resulted in broad reform initiatives.

The force has also attracted scrutiny in how it deals with existing and prospective members. For example, in 2007, there was some debate when a Sikh recruit was not allowed to wear a turban while on duty. [cite web
title=Green Party calls on Gardaí to rethink its ban on Sikh turban

Shell to Sea controversy

The _ga. Gardaí's handling of the Shell to Sea protests in Erris has attracted criticism for using excessive force. [ [ Global Community Monitor - Report of fact finding delegation to Mayo, Ireland - February 2007] ] No arrests were made as the _ga. Gardaí did not want to make "martyrs" of the protesters. [ [ of "Garda Review" - November 2006] ] The former Green Party leader Trevor Sargent condemned the _ga. Gardaí's handling of the protest at the time, saying it displayed "...the worst signs of law and order...It is a disgrace for people to be manhandled and beaten in the way that the community has been in that area." [ [ Prominent Shell to Sea activist to oversee Corrib project - Indymedia Ireland ] ] Several complaints were made to the Garda Complaints board, relating to incidents occuring in late 2006. [ [ Western People: Complaints against 20 Gardaí in Corrib row ] ] A section of road used by the protesters has dubbed "the Golden Mile" by Gardaí because of the overtime opportunities. [ [ Irish Times - Analysis - New gas pipeline route likely to be as controversial as original - Tuesday, April 29, 2008] ]

Allegations involving mishandling of cases and complaints

The Kerry Babies case was one of the first public inquiries into mishandling of a _ga. Garda investigation. Later in the 1980s, the Ferns Report (an inquiry into allegations of clerical sexual abuse) described as 'wholly inadequate' the handling of one of eight formal complaints made to Wexford gardaí , but noted that the remaining formal complaints were handled in an effective, professional and sensitive manner. [ [ The Ferns Report, October 25 2005] ]

Other more recent reports (including one released by gay rights organisation "Johnny") suggest that people who frequent gay and lesbian establishments feel that the _ga. Gardaí are not doing enough to tackle reported homophobic crime in Ireland, and that _ga. Gardaí should be sent for training in anti-homophobia and heterosexism. []

Allegations resulting in Tribunals of Inquiry

In the 1990s and early 2000s the _ga. Garda Síochána faced a series of allegations, including suggestions of corrupt and dishonest policing in County Donegal. This became the subject of a judicial inquiry: the Morris Tribunal. The tribunal found that some County Donegal gardaí had invented an Provisional IRA (IRA) informer, made bombs and claimed credit for locating them, and attempted to frame Raphoe publican Frank McBrearty Junior for murderndash the latter case was recently settled in a €1.5m settlement with the State. In a report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the Morris Tribunal expressed grave concern about "organised insubordination" within the force that "proper discipline has been lost from _ga. An Garda Síochána", suggesting that a few mischief-makers have abused their positions within the _ga. Garda and used the disciplinary process to damage the force. The tribunal also expressed concern that recruits are brought into an undisciplined culture that has the potential to do great damage to them in the longer term, and warned that a "terrible and costly" waste of talent will occur if the situation continues.

On 20 April 2000, members of the Emergency Response Unit shot dead, from behind, 27-year-old John Carthy at the end of a 25-hour siege as he left his home in Toneymore, Abbeylara, County Longford with a loaded shotgun in his hands. There were allegations made of inappropriate handling of the situation and of the overuse of armed force by the _ga. Gardaí; a "shoot to kill" policy. This led to a _ga. Garda inquiry, and subsequently, a Tribunal of Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Mr Justice Robert Barr.

This inquiry (into the facts and circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting - in which four bullets were fired; two by _ga. Garda McCabe and two by Sgt Jackson) was established on 1 July 2002, and the hearing of evidence was completed on 7 December 2004. It was expected to report its findings within six months, but publication of its Report was delayed until 20 July 2006. The official findings of the Barr Tribunal were that Sgt Michael Jackson made 14 mistakes in his role as negotiator during the siege, and that he failed to make real efforts to achieve resolution during the armed stand-off. It further stated however that Sgt Jackson was limited by lack of experience and resources ("psychologists, solicitors, dogs"). The tribunal recommended that there be an urgent review of _ga. Garda command structures, and that the ERU be equipped with stun guns and other non-lethal options, including "non-compliant firearms support police dogs". (Non-compliant dogs are 'attack' dogs that will bite or bring a person to the ground on command.)

The Barr tribunal further recommended a formal working arrangement between Gardaí and State psychologists, and improvements in Garda training (especially in the context of ERU in siege situations, including those with mental illness as a factor). This included a recommendation that local _ga. Garda superintendents undergo refresher training for one week every year as scene commanders and a similar refresher course for ERU officers of the rank of inspector or superintendent. _ga. Garda Commissioner Conroy, in a letter to the family of John Carthy, stated that the force was 'truly apologetic' for his death. [ [ Irish Independent, August 11 2006 'Top garda apologies to Carthy family for fatal siege'] ]

Former Superintendent Joe Shelley, whose failure to interview John Carthy was cited in The Barr Tribunal Report as "extraordinary", and who was also severely criticised in the Report of the Morris Tribunal into the controversial death of Richie Barron, was awarded a top-up bonus of €110,000 when he took early retirement in July 2005. Mr Justice Morris described Shelleys probe as "prejudiced, tendentious, utterly negligent in the highest degree". [ [ Irish Independent, July 24 2006 'Garda got €110,000 bonus despite chequered job history'] ]

Allegations involving abuse of powers

One of the first charges of serious impropriety against the force rose out of the handling of the Sallins Train Robbery in 1976; this case eventually led to a serious miscarriage of justice and accusations of a "Heavy Gang" operating within the force which intimidated and tortured the accused. This eventually led to a Presidential pardon for one of the accused.

In 2004, an RTÉ "Prime Time" documentary accused elements within the _ga. Garda of abusing their powers by physically assaulting people arrested. A retired Circuit Court judge (W. A. Murphy) suggested that some members of the force had committed perjury in criminal trials before him but later stated that he was misquoted, while a Minister of State (Dick Roche) (junior government minister) accused Gardaí in one instance of "torture". The _ga. Garda Commissioner accused the television programme of lacking balance.

The Prime Time documentary followed footage published by the Independent Media Centre Ireland showing scuffles between _ga. Gardaí and Reclaim the Streets demonstrators. [cite web
title= _ga. Garda Goes Berserk
] One _ga. Garda shown in this footage was later convicted of common assault which is a summary matter, while several other _ga. Gardaí were acquitted of all offences.

Allegations involving cross-border policing

The family of Eddie Fullerton, a Buncrana _ga. Sinn Féin councillor killed in his home by members of the Ulster Defence Association in 1991, have criticised the _ga. Gardaí's handling of the investigation and in 2005 they started a campaign for an inquiry.

The Smithwick Tribunal is also investigating allegations of collusion following the deaths of two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers killed by the Provisional IRA as they returned from a meeting with the _ga. Gardaí in the Republic of Ireland following a recommendation from the Cory Collusion Inquiry.

Reform initiatives

Arising from some of the above incidents, the _ga. Garda Síochána has undergone a number of reform initiatives in recent years. The Morris tribunal in particular identified areas that required redress, and highlighted that reforms were required in order to effect such a redress.

cquote|"The Tribunal has been staggered by the amount of indiscipline and insubordination it has found in the Garda force. There is a small, but disproportionately influential, core of mischief-making members who will not obey orders, who will not follow procedures, who will not tell the truth and who have no respect for their officers"|30px|30px|Justice Frederick Morris, Chairman and Sole Member of The Morris Tribunal| [cite web
title=Report 5, Arrest and Detention of 7 persons at Burnfoot, County Donegal on May 23 1998 and the Investigation relating to same - Conclusions and Recommendations: The Danger of Indiscipline
publisher=Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform

It was also stated by the tribunal Chairman, Mr Justice Morris, that the code of discipline was extremely complex and, at times, "cynically manipulated" to promote indiscipline across the force. Judicial reviews, for example, were cited as a means by which disciplinary action could be delayed.

The _ga. Garda Síochána Act 2005 was the key vehicle put in place to facilitate change, the provisions for which arise from the fall out and findings of the tribunal and from the events in Donegal and elsewhere.

While fifteen members of the force were sacked between 2001 and 2006, and a further 42 resigned in lieu of dismissal in the same period, Commissioner Conroy stated that he was constrained in the responses available to deal with members whose misbehaviour is cited in public inquiries. [cite news
title=Insubordination not widespread, says _ga. Garda chief
publisher=The Irish Times

New procedures and code of discipline

With strong support from opposition parties, and reflecting widespread political consensus, the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform responded to many of these issues by announcing a new draft code of discipline on 17 August 2006. The new streamlined code [cite web
title=Statement by the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform on the publication of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Reports of the Morris Tribunal
publisher=Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform
] introduced new procedures to enable the Commissioner to summarily dismiss a _ga. Garda alleged to have brought the force into disrepute, abandoned duties, compromised the security of the State or unjustifiably infringed the rights of other persons.

In addition, a four member "civilian management advisory team" was appointed on 2 August 2006 to advise on implementing change options and addressing management and leadership challenges facing the _ga. Gardaí. The advisers are also mandated to promote a culture of performance management; succession planning; with the recruitment of civilians with specialist expertise and improving training. The advisory team include Senator Maurice Hayes, Emer Daly (former director of strategic planning and risk management at Axa Insurance), Maurice Keane (former group chief executive at Bank of Ireland), Michael Flahive (Assistant Secretary at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Dr Michael Mulreany (assistant director general at the Institute of Public Administration).

Enhanced civilian support

Civilian clerical and administrative support has been significantly enhanced in recent times. Since January 2007 an increase of approximately 33% in civilian staff levels has taken place, in furtherance of government policies to release more desk-bound _ga. Gardaí for operational duties and to bring the level of civilian support in line with international norms. A new tier of senior civilian management is also being introduced in a range of administrative and technical/professional support areas such as human resources, training, information technology, research and analysis, legal affairs, finance and procurement, accommodation and fleet management, and communications/public relations. A civilian Chief Administrative Officer at Deputy Commissioner level was appointed in October 2007 to oversee many of these key support functions, which in time will be largely if not completely managed by civilian staff.

_ga. Garda Inspectorate

In accordance with Section 115 of the _ga. Garda Síochána Act, the _ga. Garda Síochána Inspectorate consists of three members who are appointed by the Irish Government. The functions of the Inspectorate, "inter alia", are as follows:
* carry out, at the request or with the consent of the Minister, inspections or inquiries in relation to any particular aspects of the operation and administration of the _ga. Garda Síochána,
* submit to the Minister (1) a report on those inspections or inquiries, and (2) if required by the Minister, a report on the operation and administration of the Garda Síochána during a specified period and on any significant developments in that regard during that period, and any such reports will contain recommendations for any action that the Inspectorate considers necessary.
* provide advice to the Minister with regard to best policing practice.

The first Chief Inspector (since July 2006), is former Commissioner of Boston Police , Kathleen M. O'Toole, who reports to the Minister for Justice.

The two other inspectors are Robert Olsen and Gwen M. Boniface. Olsen was Chief of Police for 8 years of the Minneapolis Police Department. Boniface is a former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, and was one of 3 female police commissioners in Canada when appointed in May 1998. She recently suggested that rank and file Gardaí are not equipped to perform their duties or protect themselves properly. She also suggested routine arming may become a reality but dismissed the suggestion that this was currently being considered.

_ga. Garda Ombudsman Commission

Also newly instrumented, the [ _ga. Garda Ombudsman Commission] replaces the earlier system of complaints (the _ga. Garda Síochána Complaints Board). Becoming fully operational on 9 May 2007, the Commission is empowered to:
* Directly and independently investigate complaints against members of the Garda Síochána
* Investigate any matter, even where no complaint has been made, where it appears that a Garda may have committed an offence or behaved in a way that would justify disciplinary proceedings
* Investigate any practise, policy or procedure of the _ga. Garda Síochána with a view to reducing the incidence of related complaints

The [ Members of the _ga. Garda Ombudsman Commission] are: Justice Kevin Haugh (High Court Judge and Chairman of the Commission), Carmel Foley (former Director of Consumer Affairs), and Conor Brady (former Editor of The Irish Times and author of a book on the history of the _ga. Gardaí).

_ga. Garda Band

The _ga. Garda Band is a public relations branch of the _ga. Garda Síochána, and was formed shortly after the foundation of the force. It gave its first public performance on Dún Laoghaire Pier on Easter Monday, 1923. The first Band Master was Superintendent D.J. Delaney and he formed a céilí and pipe band within the _ga. Garda Band. In 1938, the Dublin Metropolitan _ga. Garda Band (based at Kevin Street) and the _ga. Garda Band amalgamated and were based at the _ga. Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park.

The band was disbanded in 1965. However to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the _ga. Garda Síochána it was reformed in 1972.

Besides providing music for official _ga. Garda functions (such as Graduation Ceremonies at the Garda College) the band undertakes a community orientated programme each year performing at schools, festivals and sporting events. It has a long association with Lansdowne Road for Rugby union and Soccer Internationals, the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin and the Rose of Tralee Festival.

In 1964 the band toured America and Canada under Superintendent J. Moloney, and has also traveled to international events and represented the country at police festivals and concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Northern Ireland.Fact|date=November 2007


External links

* [ Official site - _ga. An Garda Síochána]
* [ _ga. Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission]
* [ _ga. Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin]
* [ Association of _ga. Garda Sergeants and Inspectors]
* [ _ga. Garda Síochána mission statement on community policing]
* [ Morris Tribunal]
* [ _ga. Garda Síochána Act 2005]
* [ _ga. Garda Roll of Honour]

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