All that shimmers is not gold
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and Garda accountability
in Defining events
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The events in Donegal were the final catalyst in the reform of the Garda Síochána Complaints Board (GSCB) and the establishment of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). This chapter explores that change and analyses its significance. Its establishment is contextualised with critical discussion of police governance and accountability, paying particular attention to complaints systems and their role in police oversight. The chapter provides a review of police complaints systems in Ireland. It argues that the reforms to the complaints mechanism are predominantly procedural in nature. The GSOC's annual reports provide information based on which its contribution to police accountability and the state of police accountability more broadly in Ireland can be critically analysed. Analysis based on complaints per 1,000 gardaí, which can account for changing garda numbers since the recession, reveals that despite the increase, complaints against the gardaí remain low compared with police forces in England and Wales.

Defining events

Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland

Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

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