| 6°C Dublin

Complaints Gardaí hit by 76 claims of harassment, bullying and sexual harassment over past five years

A detailed breakdown reveals that seven male gardaí and one female officer have alleged they were the victim of bullying at work in 2021

Close

Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

Gardaí have been hit by 76 claims of harassment, bullying, and sexual harassment over the past five years including eight complaints so far this year.

A detailed breakdown reveals that seven male gardaí and one female officer have alleged they were the victim of bullying at work in 2021.

However, An Garda Síochána said there had been no complaints of either harassment or sexual harassment in the first nine months of the year.

The figures for 2021 appear so far to be down on previous years. According to the data, 18 complaints were made last year, 14 in 2019, and 19 the year before that.

Of the 76 overall claims of harassment, bullying, and sexual harassment – fifty were sent forward for a formal investigation.

There were ten complaints that were rejected and were not deemed to be bullying or harassment under garda policy.

Seven complaints were withdrawn before an investigation was concluded, while nine cases were resolved through mediation, according to the details that were released under FOI.

An investigation of twenty-four of the cases resulted in the complaint not being upheld, and only nine cases resulted in an upheld complaint.

Gardaí said there were still seventeen cases that remained under investigation or were currently being looked at through the appeals process.

The data also reveals the gender breakdown of complaints with 40 of the bullying complaints made by male gardaí and 32 by female officers.

There has been just one complaint made of harassment over the past five years and it was filed by a male officer.

According to the garda database, it remains either under investigation or is the subject of an appeal although the actual status of the case is not specified.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Three complaints of sexual harassment have been made by gardaí, all by female officers.

Two of them were made in 2018 and one last year. Of the three cases, one was withdrawn, another was upheld, and a single complaint remains under investigation.

Gardaí said they could not comment on individual cases but said examples of the type of issues raised included “inappropriate behaviour, threatening behaviour, demeaning behaviour, verbal abuse, and victimisation”.

An information note said there were two separate policies in place for dealing with allegations of harassment, bullying, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

A policy of ‘Working Together to Create a Positive Working Environment’ is in place for garda members and details procedures for dealing with allegations.

Civilian garda staff – who are not included in these figures – are covered by civil service wide policies on dignity in the workplace.

A garda spokesman said: “Commissioner [Drew] Harris has spoken publicly before on the need, as outlined in the Garda Code of Ethics, for all Garda personnel to treat each other with respect and dignity to ensure a positive and healthy working environment.

“An Garda Síochána has policy and procedures in place for dealing with harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy