Social media misuse among reasons for 45 Garda suspensions last year
Posted on 26th January 2022 at 21:03
Number of gardaí suspended from duty was up by four on 2020 figure
Inappropriate social media use, theft, domestic violence, assault, drink driving, accessing of Garda systems and unspecified “sexual” matters are some of the reasons why 45 gardaí were suspended from duty last year.
That is according to information provided by the Garda Freedom of Information (FOI) unit, which disclosed that the total number of members suspended last year was an increase of four on 2020.
The FOI unit further stated that three members were dismissed from the force last year. Three members were also dismissed in 2020.
The response lists the breakdown of reasons for suspension in 2021 as “social media, theft, sexual, drugs, drink driving, assault, pervert justice, domestic violence and access Garda systems”.
The reasons for suspensions in 2020 were broadly similar and listed as “domestic violence, road traffic matters, drink driving, social media, theft, sexual, drugs, assault, Covid breach and pervert justice”.
In addition, the FOI response states that 116 members were found to be in breach of discipline in 2021 and fined a cumulative €24,787.
This compares to 252 members found to be in breach of discipline in 2020 and fined a cumulative €22,825.
The records show that the highest fine in 2021 was six weeks pay on a member for discreditable conduct/breach of confidence.
Another member was fined four weeks pay for discreditable conduct while a colleague faces a similar sanction for neglect of duty/falsehood/prevarication.
The breaches of discipline for the top 15 gardaí fined was for either discreditable conduct or neglect of duty.
In respect of the gardaí who were dismissed, the FOI unit declined to release the reasons for dismissal on the grounds that it involved the disclosure of personal information.
The 45 members suspended last year is a tiny fraction of the 14,298 gardaí that were working in the final quarter of last year. The Government’s 2022 Budget provided for the recruitment of 800 new Garda recruits this year along with 400 Garda staff.
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