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Common sense must be at the heart of An Garda Síochána disciplinary process – Carrigy

7th March 2024 - Senator Micheál Carrigy

A full review of An Garda Síochána’s disciplinary protocols must be conducted so another case of wrongful suspension does not occur, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Micheál Carrigy was speaking after a Garda who was suspended for three years for allegedly giving an unclaimed bicycle from a garda storeroom to an elderly man during the Covid-19 pandemic was cleared of any wrongdoing.

“While I welcome the news that the Garda involved was cleared, it is regrettable that this case proceeded as far as it had,” Senator Carrigy said.

“In essence, the Garda had not completed the necessary paperwork required, but the repercussions he faced were immense and entirely disproportionate. The Garda was suspended for three years before returning to duty last year, having been cleared by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI). However, the Garda still faced disciplinary proceedings with charges, including discreditable conduct and misuse of property. He was also barred from dealing with the public.

“One cannot underestimate how difficult an experience that this must have been for this Garda, who was carrying out a good deed by assisting a vulnerable member of the community. Helping people is the duty of every member of An Garda Síochána. That they might face penalties for doing so goes against the essence of what is required for them to go about their work in creating safer streets and stronger communities.

“We want to have committed, hard-working Gardaí in our communities. We also want policing to be a rewarding career. This case has illustrated that there appears to be a lack of common sense to some of the processes and procedures within An Garda Síochána’s disciplinary handbook.

“A review of these would signal a willingness to acknowledge that this case was mishandled and may serve to right some of the wrongs- not just for this Garda and his family, but also for serving members of An Garda Síochána and anyone considering a career in policing.”

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