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Question

444. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average time for completion of investigations, pursuant to section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. [34606/15]

445. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations, pursuant to section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, currently being undertaken by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, that are incomplete after one year. [34607/15]

446. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations, pursuant to section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, currently being undertaken by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, that are incomplete after two years. [34608/15]

447. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations, pursuant to section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, currently being undertaken by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, that are incomplete after three years. [34609/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 444 to 447, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy is aware the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was established as a statutorily independent body, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, to investigate complaints made against members of the Garda Síochána.
GSOC directly investigates complaints involving allegations of criminality, and its investigative staff have full police powers to do this. It may refer other complaints to the Garda Commissioner for investigation under the Garda disciplinary code, and it may maintain oversight of progress in those investigations.
Under section 95 of the Act certain disciplinary cases may be undertaken by GSOC's own investigators. This may arise, for example, where a criminal investigation took place, revealing no criminal behaviour, but potential breaches of discipline. The number of such cases are comparatively small; GSOC's 2014 Annual Report indicated that 6 such cases were opened in 2014.
GSOC have provided me with the following statistics which are based on the number of section 95 investigations initiated between 10 November, 2008 and 31 August 2015. The details provided reflect the period between the section 95 phase being started/opened and the closing of that phase (for example entering the section 97 phase at which point the matter is in the control of the Garda Commissioner as to whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings).
The average time for completion of investigations pursuant to section 95 is 218 days.
The number of such investigations that are incomplete after one year is 5.
The number of such investigations that are incomplete after two years is 1.
The number of such investigations that are incomplete after three years is 0.