Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

Statement from An Garda Síochána on Final Report of Garda Homicide Investigation Team

An Garda Síochána is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Garda Homicide Investigation Review Team (HIRT) following its review of 41 homicide cases.

The HIRT identified issues around data quality and mis-classification with 12 deaths out of the 41 re-classified as a result of the review, and 28 cases had at least one investigative issue. These issues did not though impact on the outcome of the investigations in 40 of the cases reviewed, according to the HIRT. One of the 41 investigation remains live and was not included in the final review.

Commissioner Drew Harris said: "The Policing Authority’s positive comments on the quality of the HIRT report and its candour are to be welcomed. This review is a further demonstration of the ability of the Garda organisation to professionally examine internal issues in conjunction with appropriate oversight.

"Our focus now is to implement the HIRT’s recommendations to ensure public confidence in the quality and standard of Garda investigations.”

An implementation group chaired by Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey has been appointed by Commissioner Harris to oversee implementation of the HIRT recommendations.

Of the 21 recommendations by the HIRT, five have been completed. This includes issues identified relating to training, prioritisation of taking statements from key and vulnerable witnesses, and exhibit management.

A further five will be completed with the next PULSE fix in February 2020, five will be addressed by the roll-out of the Investigation Management System, and the remaining six involve legal issues and the input of other stakeholders.

In addition, 200 Garda members have been trained in conducting Peer Reviews of investigations.

The public should be assured of the overall quality of the investigations and the number of cases which have been successfully detected and prosecuted through the courts.

The Policing Authority also positively noted the HIRT’s finding that there had been a cultural shift among Garda members in relation to PULSE data.

The Garda Homicide Investigation Review Team was a multi-disciplinary team led by an Assistant Commissioner and included experienced detectives up to Chief Superintendent rank as well as Garda staff from the Garda Analysis Service.

As noted in the Policing Authority’s report, members of Policing Authority Executive attended meetings of the HIRT, as well as discussing the HIRT review with senior Garda managers in numerous public and private meetings.