Independent Media Centre Ireland

Your Rights & How to Deal with the Gardaí.

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Sunday April 22, 2007 19:15author by Niall Harnett - address Doonagore, Liscannor, Co Clare.

Never cooperate with the Gardaí unless …

“The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen”. Constitution of Ireland - Bunreacht na h-Eireann, Article 40.3.1.

The wide-spread and systematic corruption of Gardaí that has been exposed in this country might lead us to believe that we should be entering a new era of accountability. No, far from it, the opposite is true. That new era began last October 2006 and continues now with the practical ongoing training and conditioning of hundreds of Gardaí at Bellanaboy, to the use of violence over the rule of law.

In that context of institutionalised Garda violence, I‘d hope that this article could go some way in empowering you to adopt the policy of:

Never cooperating with the Gardaí unless ...
1) You have been informed of a reason why they suspect you of committing an offence,
2) You are being assaulted by them and/or threatened with fear for your personal safety or your life.
Know your rights and exercise them.
Know your rights and exercise them.

This article is an attempt at re-defining and updating ‘the rights’ of those who are actively involved in protest in this country, and who face the potential of Garda abuse of power and violence that is directly associated with state oppression of legitimate dissent.

Advice is given here in the context of the Shell to Sea Protests at Rossport & Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, where experience has taught us much. But I hope that the legal info here and the practical application of it, can be of value to anyone facing similar problems when dealing with members of An Garda Síochána in any protest situation, anywhere in the country.

In Ireland we are lacking in definitive ‘Know your rights’, ‘Bust Card’, ‘Arrest Info’, ‘Custody Rights’ information, publications, and flyers etc. British activists, for example, who are more experienced and practised than us within a larger network, are much more on this case than we are. The simple but very apt ‘Delia Smith Bust Card’ included further down in this article is a fine example.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), , provide a ‘Know your rights’ publication here: . It’s quite good with it’s many references to legislation and the ‘Acts’ but it emphasises the powers of Gardaí rather than the powers of the Citizen, which is counterproductive in my opinion, and reading it can leave you with the dangerous impression that the Gardaí can basically do what they want, which is not true. Not true at all.

The ICCL website is also frustratingly difficult to navigate and it’s almost impossible to find stuff unless you already know it’s there?! Their advice seems to err on the side of caution and ‘playing safe’ when dealing with the Gardaí. Surely the point of giving legal advice is to give people the confidence of being certain when exercising those rights and not giving the Gardaí anything they are not entitled to, including, for example your name and address. The ICCL say that “If you are asked, always give your name and address. If you do not you may be committing an offence”. I say that ‘may be’ is not accurate legal info, ‘may be’ empowers them and not us, ‘may be’ is not law. In this article I’ll try and define the law that will clarify when you should and when you should NOT give the Gardaí such personal information.


The Bottom (fundamental) line is this.

You and I have the right to free movement and passage, personal privacy and bodily integrity. And the right to protest.

These are fundamental Human Rights of International Law as well as fundamental rights provided by the Irish Constitution, , which is the foundation of all Irish Law.

NO-ONE, not even a Garda, has the right to 'disabuse' you of those rights ... "save in accordance with the law" (Article 40, Irish Constitution).

The Constitution of Ireland, Bunreacht Na h-Eireann gives us these Fundamental Personal Rights which are provided for us in Article 40.

Article 40.3.1 says that 'The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen'.

Article 40.4.1 says that 'No citizen shall be deprived of his personal liberty save in accordance with law'.

Article 40.5 says that 'The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered save in accordance with law.

Article 40.6 says that 'The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality:

i. The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions and the education of public opinion ...' and

ii. The right of the citizens to assemble peaceably and without arms.

'Subject to Public Order' quoted above in Article 6 gives us a clue as to which act the Gardaí most commonly use with regard to protesting - the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, among others such as the Road Traffic Act.

2) EXACT INFO ON LAW IN IRELAND (Irish Statute Book).

Irish Constitutional Law is Primary Law in Ireland.

‘Legislation’ or ‘general day to day law’ which is secondary to the constitution can be found in the relevant ‘Acts of Law’ provided for in the Irish Statute Book - .

When I say 'can be found', that's not exactly true, it's a really bad website. Again, you will not find what you're looking for unless you know what your looking for! For example you will not find Public Order legislation unless you already know there is a 'Public Order Act'. And the best way to find that is to google it and get into the relevant part of the Irish statute book that way. Accessing the info is all arseways, just like this country!

In order for a Garda to behave in ways that he thinks is using, upholding or enforcing the law, there must be 'provision' in the law for him to behave that way. 'Provision' must come from a relevant section of a relevant 'Act of Law' which will either 'provide' him with legal excuse to behave that way or it will not. (Google 'criminal justice public order act' for example). If that or any 'relevant' act does not have provision for his behaviour then he is breaking the law and abusing your personal and fundamental constitutional rights and you can remind yourself and the Garda that he is liable to be held accountable for such illegal actions at civil and criminal law himself.


It is often said that 'If a Garda asks you for your name and address, you must give it to him'.
I've heard a lot of people say it and I hear activists say it to eachother with full conviction. I've heard cops and legal people say it. The ICCL even advise it.

It’s bullshit, it’s a lie and we've got to get that into our heads. If you believe it's true then you must obviously have knowledge of the relevant provision in law, and please post it here as a comment, with ’chapter and verse’ please, if you do.

You can only be stopped or questioned by a Garda in accordance with law.

To be randomly stopped and/or questioned by a Garda is an abuse of privacy and deprivation of personal liberty. You are entitled to walk the street without question or prevention by a Garda, unless your actions or conduct are such that there is provision in law relevant to your behaviour to stop and question you.


If you are stopped or questioned, and this is very important, the first thing you should do is ask the Garda why you are being stopped or questioned. It's so important to ask the Gardaí questions and to get answers to those questions. If a Garda cannot, will not, or refuses to use 'the law' by invoking a relevant act (such as Public Order Act or Road Traffic Act or whatever) then you do not have to engage or cooperate with him in any way. He must invoke the law to use the law ... in accordance with the law! If he refuses, he is not acting in accordance with any law and you should invoke your rights to personal liberty and go about your business.

Furthermore, "Any person (note: including a Garda) who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, wilfully prevents or interrupts the free passage of any person or vehicle in any public place is committing an offence under Section 9 of the CRIMINAL JUSTICE (PUBLIC ORDER) ACT, 1994”.

If a garda is insisting, then you must also insist on asking what provision of law he makes such a demand. If he continues to make up some rubbish under 'colour of law' refuse to co-operate and tell him he will be held personally liable at civil and criminal law for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment if he abuses his authority further.


Similarly, a Garda does not have the right, save in accordance with law, to ask you for your name and address. Again, your right to privacy is accepted by the courts to be provided for in Article 40.3 of the Irish constitution. Any attempt by a Garda to deny your privacy must be done in accordance with law. Even if a Garda invokes for example 'The Public Order Act', he cannot demand your name and address unless he is of the opinion that you have committed an offence under that act.

Neither do you have to "comply with the directions of Garda" (section 8) unless you have been informed that you are committing an offence relative to the Public Order Act whereby there is provision in the act to direct you to 'desist or leave the vicinity" (section 8). The offences (and sections) they might use to question (or arrest you) are "wilfull obstruction" (section 9) and "trespass" (section 13) etc. "Disorderly Conduct "(section 5) is one they could throw at you but not unless you are using "offensive conduct causing serious offence".

Therefore - you should never give a Garda your name and address unless you have been told you have committed an offence or you are under arrest for an offence.

You must also be informed of the offence. So again, you should ASK! and keep asking questions until you are fully informed. (Often you can disempower a Garda bully by simply asking questions. Don't let them disempower you, do not be bullied, speak up for yourself and invoke your legal rights)

Below is the only provision in the Public Order Act for a Garda to ask you for your name and address.


24.—(1) Where a member of the Garda Siochana finds any person committing an offence under a relevant provision, the member may arrest such person without warrant.

(2) Where a member of the Garda Siochana is of the opinion that an offence has been committed under a relevant provision, the member may—
( a ) demand the name and address of any person whom the member suspects, with reasonable cause, has committed, or whom the member finds committing, such an offence, and
( b ) arrest without warrant any such person who fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded, or gives a name or address which the member has reasonable grounds for believing is false or misleading.

(3) Any person who fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded by virtue of subsection (2), or gives a name or address when so demanded which is false or misleading, shall be guilty of an offence.

The example of legislation above is from the Public Order Act which is most commonly used against protesters. There is other legislation in other 'Acts', but still the 'fundamentals' apply. The Gardaí will also use the Road Traffic Act to stop and harass people in cars.

IMPORTANT: The Road Traffic Act does make provision for the Gardaí to ask you for your name and address in order to identify you as the driver of the car etc. More on the Road Traffic Act later.

The problems are, 1) Guards have a habit of just asking/bullying people for their names and addresses and getting them, and 2) The misconception is out there that 'You must always give your name and address to a Garda when they ask you'. Not true for reasons above. Sometimes they pull the 'Are you refusing to obey a direction of a Garda?' trick. But again, directions can only be given by Gardaí under certain sections of enacted law (Acts) ... in accordance with the law.


Again, the bottom line is that your right to personal and bodily integrity is enshrined in international and constitutional law. The same applies to your vehicle, your bag/rucksack and your tent/toilet/sittingroom/dwelling/home.

Under any act of law (which must be invoked) there is provision for Gardaí to search if a) they have a warrant issued under a certain act or b) they have reasonable grounds to suspect that there is something illegal in your possession, for example the ‘Misuse of Drugs Act 1994‘ . The ‘Misuse of Drugs Act‘ is a straw they like to clutch at when you stand up to them on other acts they‘ve invoked, and it gives them provision to search your person or vehicle without a warrant (provided they have reasonable cause to suspect), but not a building. They must have a warrant to search buildings/dwellings (unless you are in the business of selling drugs) see section 24. Your tent, for example, is your dwelling which for the purposes of this act is a structure or building, but you must insist on this, because they will test you.

Never give them reason to suspect you of carrying drugs, and question them thoroughly if they say they do, because they’ll just be making it up.

The Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990. is similar to the Misuse of Drugs Act, in that there is provision for them to search your person for a weapon intended to cause harm, but they must have a search warrant to search your dwelling etc.

It's probably wise not to carry a knife unless you need it for something and can justify carrying it, which is a defence to any charge. For example a penknife is not an offensive weapon, it's a tool and an essential one for campers and travelling lunch eating protesters etc. Some people, for example, always carry a knife and justifiably so, it's the oldest and most useful tool of all.

Other legislation, for example, Offences Against the State Act, the Criminal Law Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act AND the Offensive Weapons Act entitles police officers to search you and/or your vehicle without a warrant. If one of these statutes is being invoked in order to search you without a search warrant, you are entitled to told about it.

Research of these acts is required on this - more than will fit in this article. But I hope you get the picture.


Thanks to the Black Pope for his advice in this (RTA) section of the article.


Before insisting strongly on your rights as outlined below, it is a good idea to be 100% certain the vehicle is in reasonably good condition and you have valid licence + insurance to drive it. Tax disc, tyres, headlights and indicators are the first things will be checked. If all not in order, the best tactic might be to ‘play soft’.

If a purported Garda is not in uniform (including hat on head) or producing a photo warrant card identifying himself (which you are entitled to read), you do not have any legal obligation to co-operate.

It is not the business of any Garda where you are driving from or to, or the purpose of your trip. These are merely nosey questions you are entitled to ignore.

Ask questions and put the onus on the Garda to explain under what provision of law he 1) stopped you, and 2) makes any further demands.

Use audio/video recording devices if you expect any dispute to arise.

No-one is obliged by the Road Traffic Act, (RTA) to exit or open a vehicle in any way. All doors locked and driver’s window down 6mm is enough to permit verbal communication and/or passage of licence etc. This handy physical barrier makes any ensuing discussion much more relaxed (for vehicle occupants) and difficult (for the Gardaí).

Breath-testing is now permitted randomly, so that might have to become a 13mm window slit to get the nozzle in through. A garda’s fingers are generally believed to be about 25mm in diameter and covered in fur.

There is no provision for the searching ofa vehicle under the RTA – in the case of an accident involving an injury, gardai may ask a judge for a warrant to search a place or premises FOR a vehicle. Do not ‘voluntarily consent’ to any search. You are not obliged to wait while they go look for a search warrant.

Possible that they might invoke Misuse of Drugs Act or Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act to effect a search. But, they must have reasonable grounds to suspect you have something in your possession to legally search you rather than just use it as an excuse to bully you. Stand up to them. Question them and use your legal knowledge.


Other people in the vehicle are not obliged by any provision of the Road Traffic Acts to give any information at all about themselves, except, in the case where the driver absolutely refuses to identify himself, his name, if they are asked for it.

If a garda is insisting, ask under what provision of law he makes such a demand. If he makes up some rubbish under the RTA refuse to co-operate and tell him he will be held personally liable at civil and criminal law for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment if he abuses his authority further.


The law does technically say you are ‘required’ to carry driving licence while driving vehicle.

The 1961.s40 law was controversially changed in 1994.s25 to give discretion to gardai to prosecute you ‘for failure to produce licence there and then’, or ask that you produce it within 10 days. However, it appears that the requirement does not translate into any legal obligation which is actually enforced or enforcable - the practise after 1994 has remained the exact same and people are not prosecuted for failing to carry their licence at all times, just for failing to have one at all or produce it at a named garda station within 10 days.

Still, this is no guarantee you will not be the first ‘test case’, but does seem to indicate the provision might not withstand a robust legal challenge (on grounds of constitutional right to free movement, introduction of compulsory ID-card by stealth, etc), so the authorities would prefer not to put it to the test.

If a Garda is being ratty and insisting on this point, ask “Are you prepared to break the standing orders from the DPP’s office that such prosecutions are not to be brought if the person from whom the licence is demanded is willing to produce it at a nominated garda station within 10 days for inspection?” Such a directive probably does (or will be understood by the Garda to) exist. If you pre-empt any demand by volunteering production within 10 days, 95% chance that will short-circuit any dispute on the matter.

If you do not have licence with you, you may be asked for and are legally obliged to give your correct name and address. If you refuse this information, you may lawfully be arrested.

You nominate a station (anywhere in the country) where you undertake to produce licence (and/or insurance if requested) within 10 days. When you do go, always bring a witness, ask for the member in charge (MIC), let them read whatever you are producing, and ensure that a certificate of production be provided in return, according to RTA 1961.s40.1.D

Keep this cert document very carefully, it is your proof and defence against any later charges the gardai may decide to bring through sheer forgetfulness or spite. If the MIC refuses to issue the certificate, ask for the Superintendent and make a written complaint co-signed by your witness. Then keep a copy of that instead.

4) ARREST - What to do if/when you're arrested

I know that British activists are very good at giving workshops on this and putting together comprehensive leaflets and flyers on the do's and don’ts of when you're arrested. In Ireland, I wonder are there any current flyers on this at all. I've seen vague 'bust cards' which are a good effort with some of the basics but we definitely need comprehensive basic guides with sound legal footing.

We in Ireland need to do more work on this and I do not suggest that this contribution from me is enough to cover this area. But, this sample ‘Bust Card’ from the British Guide Book 'Delia Smith's Guide to …‘, is excellent advice that's relevant to Ireland also, and should be followed to the letter, in my opinion.

ARREST ‘BUST’ CARD EXAMPLE. (Just copy and paste for printing and distributing)


Being arrested is easy, you just stay quiet and wait for them to let you out.

If you can, remember the arresting officers number and ask what it is that you are being nicked for.

You don’t have to tell the police anything except your name and address.

Don’t sign anything except the list of your belongings.

If they ask you anything (especially if you have an interview) answer... "NO COMMENT".

Information is power. Do NOT get into chat/discussion with them. What you work at or where you're staying etc is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Shut up.

Legal Support / Solicitor phone number : ____________

When detained at a Garda station you must be given a leaflet outining your legal rights while in custody. READ IT. It is an offence for the Garda ‘member in charge' not to give you that. Your custody rights include food, phone calls, a visit from a friend, a visit from a doctor, a visit from a solicitor which they must supply if you don't have one of your own, (usually some legal aid no-hoper of their choice).

Fingerprints, Tests and Photographs may not be taken from/of you unless you are detained under the following Acts:
Section 30, Offences against the State Act 1939.
Section 4, Criminal Justice Act 1994 (referring to serious offences with a five year prison penalty).
Section 2, Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking Act) 1996.

You will have been informed of the offence for which you have been detained. If that offence is not one of the above, then refuse to cooperate with any attempts by Gardaí to test, fingerprint or photograph you, unless … you are assaulted or in fear of assault which is a real threat. Better for you to get out safe and unhurt, then make a complaint afterwards.


Possible charges and punishments for offences including fines and prison can be read at links below. It's possible to be arrested under the following acts where even a suspicion that you might 'do something' might justify an arrest. Even if you feel you are being 'falsely arrested' you may be charged for resisting arrest.

Public Order Act
Road Traffic Act 1961
Road Traffic Act 1994
Criminal Damage Act 1991


I hope all this is a help to people. I see this article as a contribution towards putting some more comprehensive legal info and advice together. We could go on for pages and pages with regard to all this but we should be aiming for 1) gathering and improving our legal knowledge, and 2) being able to edit it down into brief presentable flyers and leaflets etc.

Opinions on the law can be dangerous and misleading, if those opinions are not based in law - 'chapter and verse', 'Act and Section' etc, so I've tried to back up my opinions with reference to constitutional law and national legislation from the 'Irish Statutebook', to try and give an understanding as to how we can protect ourselves when confronted with Garda intimidation etc. Knowing how to exercise you rights when dealing with the Gardaí should be very helpful both in theory and in practice.

But, I must say this - there is no accounting here for the ever present danger of attack and assault by Gardaí when you stand up to them. Shamefully, they are trained to be thugs, be aware of that, be flexible and look after your own safety first. It’s a learning process for us all.

Related Link:

And always carry a note-book.
And always carry a note-book.

Comments (65 of 65)

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author by Niallpublication date Sun Apr 22, 2007 19:22author address author phone

Shell to Sea is organising to bring numerous complaints of assault against Gardaí to the new Independent Garda Ombudsman Commission of Inquiry, which will be open for business on May 9th 2007 at 150 Abbey St, Dublin 1.

If you have reason to make such a complaint and have not made one already to the Garda Complaints Board (which the Ombudsman replaces) then please get your complaint on paper now in preparation for May 9th, when we will welcome the opportunity to hand-deliver our complaints to the new Ombudsman Commission.

‘The Statute establishing the Garda Ombudsman (the Garda Siochana Act 2005 provides that a complaint should be made within the period of 6 months beginning on the date of the conduct giving rise to the complaint. This time limit may be extended if the Garda Ombudsman considers that there are good reasons for doing so. A complaint is considered to be made as soon as it is received by the Ombudsman Commission or at a Garda Station … etc’ - The Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Related Link:
author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Apr 23, 2007 16:37author address author phone

Nice article Niall.

The Gardaí do not base what they do on the Constitution. That's for the Courts. Most Gardaí have only a rudimentary familarity with the Constitution. This is kind of a legal grey area, that needs to be dealt with, as the Gardaí swear an oath to uphold the Constitution (this being hard to do if one does not know what one has sworn to uphold).

Not giving a Garda your name and address is another legal grey area, and an absolute minefield, should you wander into it. Always give your name and address if asked for it. If the same Garda has requested this information from you a number of times (as in the case of S2S activists) you may wish to ask the Garda to stop harassing you, in lieu of once again providing your name and address - but be prepared to have a Court date - they'll probably bring you to Court over this on a number of occasions, before dropping charges. Tis best to give your name and address, as well as this, request the Garda's name and number - write it down, and mail it to yourself via registered mail which you keep sealed until needed. If you choose to fight the Gardaí in Court for harassing you, this registered letter any any others you amass will go towards proving your case.

Now, when stopped by a Garda one should always ask the two following questions - on tape or in front of witnesses.

i. Garda name and number.

ii. The 'reasonable suspicion' that the Garda harbours, that warranted the stop.

If you get arrested (After requesting the details of the offence for which you have been arrested.)

You have the right to remain silent. Use it!!

It is surprising what a Garda can use against you as evidence, should you choose to argue with him or her, with regard to a wrongful arrest or whatever. Save your arguments for Court. Gardaí are not competent to argue the legalistics of your arrest or indeed your rights - save it for the Courts.

When brought to whatever station the Gardaí take you to, make sure you:

i. Get the name and number of the Garda who takes your belongings. Request some paper and a pen from this Garda to record such details. Get a receipt for your belongings from this Garda and make sure that it is signed. If you want to sign this receipt, feel free to do so - I wouldn't. (make sure you get the little card also that details your rights with regard to legal representation and medical aid.)

ii. If you need a doctor, request one and make sure you write down the details of whatever Garda hears this request. If they provide a doctor, take the doctor's details, the time you requested a doctor and the time that one arrived. Before the doctor's arrival make sure to write down all details of your complaint - to make sure you leave nothing out.

iii. If you intend to use a solicitor to defend yourself, then request one at your earliest convenience and make a note of the time that you requested one and again include the details of the Garda taking the request. If you don't intend to use a solicitor it might be an idea (I would) to request one anyway as the solicitor can later be called as a witness.

iv. When interviewed, say nothing and keep saying it.

Dealing with the Courts: (Should you be defending yourself.)

i. Any correspondence you have with any official, whether it be Garda, DPP or whatever - say it in writing and use the registered post - regardless as to how trivial you may consider the request, question or reply. Be able to prove anything that you might later rely on, with regard to what you've said.

ii. Always avail of some legal advice if you can get it. The Courtroom is a jungle, set up to mess you up. Be prepared to have simple logic be replaced by pomp and red tape. It takes patience to be able to introduce logic into a legal argument. To forget about the red tape and believe that simplicity and logic will win the day is to go into the Courtroom with a suicidal outlook.

iii. Show up at every session, even if it's 'only for mention.' Your opposition can and probably will use any and every tactic that it can against you. Don't add ignorance into this arsenal.

Have fun!

Maybe it's time to organise a workshop that goes through rights and defending oneself in the Courts?

author by Shop stewardpublication date Mon Apr 23, 2007 17:52author address author phone

Good article Niall. And an excellent analysis Sean. I'm more inclined to veer towards Sean's view rather than Niall's on the giving of name and address - in theory Niall is right but but but it's a hopelessly muddled grey area especially the The Public Order Act, Section 8 and section 24. Very very easy to give a direction under Section 8 and then "form an opinion" that you have failed to comply with it. Then it becomes an offence under section 24 to refuse to give your name and address - even if it turns out you did NOT commit any offence! At best, you'll have the time and hassle of defending the charge in court.

I was interested to learn that when stopped under the RTA you don't _have_ to give answers to the "where are you going/where have you come from" question. I had always thought this was a requirement and a casual poll of friends all agreed, maybe that's just because it's asked so regularly!

Here's an interesting 45 minute video from the US ACLU that covers this sort of stuff in a very practical way. Deals with powers of stop and search, search of dwelling and request for name and address.

Obviously, it deals with US law so its not applicable here - y'all better not go looking for "pwobabble caws" or "doo pwawcess" if you're arrested late at night here.

author by Me - We the People publication date Mon Apr 23, 2007 21:35author address author phone

A great Article by Niall.

May I suggest to all informed ,'active' activists like yourselves (and myself) , to make familiar with the original text draft of Article 40.3.1. (and the rest ) It reads as follows.

"The State guarantees not interfere by it's Laws with the personal rights of any citizen, and it further guarantees defend and assert those rights with it's Laws in so far as it is possible".

Now, as we all know, that dealing with Law is a very fine issue, language and detail.

There is a massive difference between Practicable and possible.

This is just one word in one sentence on one page of the original text draft available for €19 at Govt.publications office Molesworth Street Dublin , and I suggest that all informed activists will become extremely active activists upon reading same.
This original text draft has been quietly kept ...buried. It must be exhumed with great force.

author by -publication date Tue Apr 24, 2007 14:33author address author phone

It is always an idea to write the telephone number of legal advice on your arm or other not too sweaty body part - before actions or protests if you can't remember it any other way. But above all remember that being detained is not pleasant and cops of any nationality or variety are not polite, understanding nor amenable to constitutionally based complaints. The vast majority of detainees will be released sooner rather than later. So the moment you are detained, take it for granted your day is spoilt and time is wasted. You "no comment" till they release you. Many people aren't psychologically prepared for a few hours doing nothing much with some plonker trying to intimidate you. I recommend picking toenails, yoga & recital of poetry or scripture. If you can't recite long texts or do yoga and bit your toenails away long ago - you can always try singing mathematic tables. The complete standard 4 dozen set of plus, subtract, multiplication and division takes about a quarter of an hour to render & with the proper voice really helps your release speed up. I assure thee. Most of all "don't panic!".
As soon as one of your friends is taken into custody you must notify your collective or protest organisation and legal or paralegal advice. Go down to the police station and wait for them after requesting confirmation that they are in custody. Opt for "professional sombre" rather than "stroppy complaint I have the ombudsman's mobile phone number at home you know and a degree from blaa blaa".
;-) it's all about "killing time".

author by Eoinpublication date Tue Apr 24, 2007 15:53author address author phone

Fair play on the info Niall.

I read in the Phoenix that the Garda Ombudsman wouldn't be investigating events before it came into effect.

This is the info that was on the Ombudsman Commission website about it.


Q.15 Will the Commission have the power to investigate complaints relating to events that happened before it came into existence?

A. Until the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission becomes operational, responsibility for investigating complaints remains with the Garda Síochána Complaints Board.
The Board will wind down when the Commission becomes operational. However, the Garda Síochána Act 2005 empowers the Commission to examine and report on any 'practice, policy or procedure' of the Garda Síochána. In any such examination it could be necessary to inquire into events that occurred before the Commission will have come into existence.


So it's probably worth putting in the Shell to Sea complaints as it could be important in future complaints.

Related Link:
author by Niallpublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 00:10author address author phone

Yes, thanks Eoin.

If Phoenix magazine or anyone else thinks that the Garda Ombudsman Commission cannot take complaints of incidents before their 'start up' date of May 9th, then they are mistaken. No disrespect to Phoenix magazine but that is a dangerous rumour of hearsay that is spreading.

The Garda Ombudsman Commission is indeed able to take complaints of incidents that happened up to six months before May 9th.

A complaint relating to November 10th 2006, for example, and made to the Garda Ombudsman on May 9th would come within the 6 month period set down by statute, and the Ombudsman also has the discretion/ability to extend that '6 month' time period if a case merits it.

author by chrissiepublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:00author address author phone

Thanks for detailed info Niall - the cops anywhere will always try it on but are taken aback by people knowing their rights.

author by Niallpublication date Fri May 11, 2007 00:39author address author phone

I'll be writing an addendum to this article, or a fresh article on how to prosecute the Gardaí in open court, soon.

You and I may walk into the district court, make complaint by oral testimony, and make application for the summons of Gardaí to appear, to answer the charges you accuse them of.

More on this soon. In the meantime, if you would like to initiate your own such prosecution of Gardaí, then contact me at 086 8444966.

author by seantípublication date Fri May 11, 2007 02:23author address author phone

I note the recommendation to record the activities of the police when arresting you. Can I butt in with this question: What is the legality of making such a recording? For instance, supposing they are reading me my rights and I pull out a digital cameras and start recording video - is this legal? Can the Gardaí ask me to stop that? According to I can photograph somebody as long as I have permission to be in the place I am, but I am curious as to whether that applies to moving images (I don't see why not).

This isn't a situation I've been in but it would be useful to know.

go raibh maith agaibh

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri May 11, 2007 03:08author address author phone

The chances of the Gardaí reading you your rights are slim. But that's avoiding the point made I suppose.

You can photograph or video anything you want in a public place.

If you attempt to pull anything out whilst you are being arrested the chances are that you will be accused of attempted assault or assaulted yourself with the Gardaí using the excuse that they thought you were going to use the camera or whatever as a weapon.

If you wait until you are being arrested to start recording, you are doing yourself no favours. If you have the equipment, begin recording the moment the interaction with the Gardaí starts. Inform them of what you are doing and point out to them that you are gathering evidence in the event of this matter progressing to a Court room. Also inform them that it is their duty to protect this evidence should they feel the need to take your equipment from you if this situation warrants an arrest.

When you begin recording, it's a good idea to include at the start of this recording, the time, date and location of where this recording is taking place. Also request names and numbers of the Gardaí and also their reason for stopping you.

You most certainly have the right to do these things. It should not be forgotten however, that common sense is the best defence and weapon an activist can possess. Manners cost nothing and can often diffuse a tense situation and indeed add power to any subsequent argument in a court should a situation escalate to the activist being assaulted or otherwise having his/her rights abused. Recording an interaction with the Gardaí is not a particularly good idea if the activist adds assholism to the product. There's no need to adopt a servile attitude, but adopting a calm and accomodating attitude can diffuse a tense situation before it escalates and if it fails to do this, it makes for powerful evidence.

To sum up: let recording equipment be the tool. And remember that this is all that it is. Keeping one's wits, keeping calm and keeping one's dignity are greater tools. Combined they make an activist something to be reckoned with.

author by uspublication date Fri May 11, 2007 11:59author address author phone

I agree that everyone,including the Gardai ,should record everything .Too often its one persons word against the other.All Gardai should be equipped with cameras on their uniforms which are constantly recording interaction with the public so that both public and Gardai are protected from unjust treatment.

author by berniepublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 18:23author address author phone

brilliant information, my children are regularly stopped by garda and questioned for no apparent reason.
i will make sure in futher that they are informed of their rights.
many thanks

author by Themainmanpublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 22:25author address author phone

A good article and has very accurate information in it but there are a few points which need to be viewed properly.
The first one I want to look at is the asking of questions, under the judges rules 'any person may ask any question'. That does not mean you must reply but the fact is Gardai can ask you something with or without a certain law granting the power to do so, the difference is that you are not legally obliged to answer.

The second one, despite popular opinion, a knife regardless of purpose is an offensive weapon. Its not always what you are carrying but why. Sitting in a tent using a pen knife to open a tin of beans is justified however carrying one in your pocket on a Saturday night into a pub is not. 'Reasonable excuse' and 'reasonable cause' being important factors here.

As for photos and videos, you can of course use such items and most times Gardai either will not know you are doing so or wont care however there are restrictions. People have a right to privacy and as such you are not entitled to photograph or videotape a person as the sole target. ie, a tourist taking a picture and your in the background is fine but taking a picture of a specific person without their permision is an invasion of their privacy. People need to be aware also that in order to record a person deliberately you must first tell them and they have the right to refuse being recorded. Again this is a privacy issue. With Gardai it would probable not be a privacy issue however.

As for names and numbers, there is no written law or direction that Gardai must give their shoulder numbers when asked. This was adopted when all Gardai were given shoulder numbers and replaced taking names however it remains true that a Garda must only give his name. Numbers work better as they are more identifiable.

Demanding a persons name by a Garda is covered under at least 100 laws and general bye-laws depending on where you are and the circumstances. The Gardai must not inform you of the law they are using just the reason in plain language. For example, because there is an allegation of assault against you. The actual law covering that assault and the power he is using is not required for the demand to be lawful. Another thought, there are circumstances where Gardai may have no power but ask for your name within 'good faith' and for 'reasonable grounds'. If your a witness or a victim of crime. If they require the information to provide to another person such as a traffic accident. Your refusal to answer is not illegal but they are entitled to act accordingly such as dismissing your evidence or complaint. Actually, there may be a law for this, Im not sure.

The final thought concerns 'without prejudice' and other statements. They have no place in criminal law and can neither be relied on or hidden behind should you find yourself in court. Once cautioned anything in the notebook is admissable with or without your signature. Once you make a statement under caution its evidence and if you later withdraw it it can still be used by the Gardai.

Just some thoughts, the bones and much of the meat of this article makes excellent reading.

author by Niallpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 00:55author address author phone

Thanks for the comment Themainman which I'd like to go through point by point, cos I think it's important that we analyse any opinion, context or situation that may give rise to problems. If you or I are offering a lot of opinions here, we need to ground them in law, chapter and verse, if we can. Otherwise they are just hearsay, and people should be aware of the difference.

Also important to think about these things in light of Bernie's comment above which I'm going to guess/assume for the moment is a situation where kids or teenagers are out and about in an urban environment and being harassed by Gardaí, (correct me if I'm wrong Bernie).

Who’s asking who?!

You mention the Judges Rule: 'Any person may ask any question'. I think you might be referring here to what might be termed ‘the common law right of approach’. And without getting too deep into it, I’d generally agree to that, and likewise, as you say, any and every person should know when the answer to that question is 'none of their business'. The fact that a Garda will abuse his 'power' to disadvantage you into thinking that it is 'his business' is a further abuse of the common right of anyone to initiate a conversation with anyone else. In my opinion, as soon as a Garda clocks on to his shift and puts on the uniform, he or she ceases to be a 'person' but becomes another entity altogether, if anyone would care to define that!

The Knife.

A knife is not an offensive weapon, it’s one of the oldest and most useful tools of all. The context in which it can be interpreted by law to be an offensive weapon is here in the Firearms & Offensive Weapons Act 1990: The context in which this article is written also defines the interpretation to be put on the use of a knife.

And unless and until Bernie's kids are prepared to act and answer responsibly to as to why they might be (and I'm not suggesting that they are) carrying a knife in their environment, I'd suggest that they don't carry one.

Garda Identity and your right to know it.

A member of An Garda Siochana is always obliged to identify himself/herself to you, if ever they want to use their legal authority to engage with you in any way. You are entitled to know their Name, Number, Station and Rank. There is a supreme court ruling to support this, which I came upon recently but can’t find now, regrettably. And see also the letter from the Garda Commissioner in the attached photo.

Your identity and a Garda's right to demand it?!.

I can see why a Garda might require your name as a witness to something, but I’m not convinced by the '100 laws and bye-laws' you say gives them provision to demand your name. And still the fundamentals of my article apply - If you’re not being accused of breaking any of those laws, your fundamental and constitutional rights to privacy remain.

‘Without Prejudice’.

I don’t know much about this and opinion isn’t enough to clarify this. Chapter and verse is what we need, if you or ‘We the People’ can elaborate on this.

You are entitled to know the full identity of a Garda.
You are entitled to know the full identity of a Garda.

author by john - nonepublication date Fri Aug 03, 2007 20:52author address author phone

As far as I know without prejudice is mostly for civil actions. If you are in an accident and the defendant writes your lawyer WP then the content cannot be entered into court wihout agrement of both parties. Some attempts at settlement are discused without prejudice which means that if attempts to settle fail you cannot then go to court and say " But you said..."

Also I understand WP is only valid when the parties are making a genuine effort to engage in discusion

DISCLAIMER. Do not go by this I may be wrong

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Aug 05, 2007 01:07author address author phone

You're quite right John.

In communications between solicitors, where negotiations are taking place, the letters are commonly headed by the words, "without prejudice." The contents of these communications then become privileged - any concession offered for example, cannot be later brought up in the hearing of the case. Without Prejudice communications encourage settlements, which in turn unburdens the Courts from having to hear every case.

I suppose, but am not certain, that putting the words "without privilege" at the heading of a letter prevents the person/s for whom the letter is intended, from gaining any power or right over the sender. Having said this, I can see how this could result in a paradox. Imagine for example, writing to someone, putting the "without prejdice" at the top of the letter and then proceeding to make some promise and then signing the letter. What if you sign your house over to someone, and put "without prejudice" at the top of this promise? Would this mean that the evidence that proves you made the promise, could not be produced in court? What if you fill in your tax returns creatively and write "without prejudice" at the top?

Fun aside. In O'Flanagan V Ray-Ger Ltd 1983, Costello J. held that this phrase does not possess "magic properties." He held that any such letter should be examined by the court to ascertain if it indeed constituted a genuine attempt to settle a dispute. If it were a genuine effort the letter was privileged and if not the contents of the letter were not privileged. In 2001, Keane C.J. further ruled that if a "without prejudice" letter produced injustice, that its status as privileged was invalid and that it could be used as evidence. So, basically speaking, a Court may read any "without prejudice" letter and decide if it should remain privileged.

author by johnpublication date Sat Jan 19, 2008 21:00author address author phone

Yes, that is what i meant, that the letter is only WP if its a genuine attempt to settle. As you seem to know a lot about the powers of the Garda can you say i f they are allowed to park Garda and other vehicles on the pubic footpath/double yellow lines out side garda station? Are they immune to parking regulation always or only in emergencies?

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 03:21author address author phone

As long as a Garda has lawful excuse, he or she can violate the laws you speak of, just like any other person. However, it's very much easier for a Garda to use 'lawful excuse' and they are rarely called to prove it. And I suppose, in most situations, this is as it should be.

Other than that, a Garda is supposed to obey the same laws we do. For example: you do not have to give right of way to a Garda, who's speeding with lights flashing, like you would have to do in the case of an ambulance. However, good manners, a civil sense of care, duty and basic common sense would probably dictate that you would.

Interestingly enough, I've never heard of a Garda car being ticketed or clamped and I've never encountered a story where one uniformed Garda has arrested another uniformed Garda. If anyone out there has an example of such an incident, I'd be very interested in hearing of it.

author by johnpublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 20:12author address author phone

HI Sean

I do know of an incident some years ago when two cops did not like each other. One went to a nearby town to buy a new car and the other, knowing he would be driving home with no tax waited on the road,stopped and prosecuted him. Don't think it is a myth or urban tale as the person who told me is well known to me and mentioned the two cops names

author by Walterpublication date Sun Jan 20, 2008 20:42author address author phone

"I've never heard of a Garda car being ticketed or clamped "

"I've never encountered a story where one uniformed Garda has arrested another uniformed Garda"

"you do not have to give right of way to a Garda, who's speeding with lights flashing, , like you would have to do in the case of an ambulance"

This is incorrect. There is no explicit direction for vehicles to yield to any emergency vehicle. This is probably something which should be changed - the obligation exists in most other jurisictions. However in relation to Garda vehicles you are obliged to follow any direction of the Garda in relation to the control of traffic, so once the guard directs you to yield, pull in, move over or stop you must obey that direction. Indeed, the direction of a garda in relation to control or regulation of traffic supersedes all other traffic regulations.

"As long as a Garda has lawful excuse, he or she can violate the laws you speak of, just like any other person."

This is a tautology.... your saying that its legal once its legal? Anyway, the only exemptions under the road traffic acts are to Amblances, Fire Brigade Vehicles, and Gardai in the performace of their duties. The only way the public are exempt is if they are following the direction of a Garda, and they are not endangering the public.

author by johnpublication date Mon Feb 11, 2008 21:15author address author phone

"Anyway, the only exemptions under the road traffic acts are to Amblances, Fire Brigade Vehicles, and Gardai in the performace of their duties"

Can you clarify if the gardai are "in the performace of their duties" when patrol cars are parked out side the garda station on footpath/double yellow lines and the gardai presumably inside the station?


author by Walterpublication date Wed Feb 13, 2008 01:45author address author phone

"Can you clarify if the gardai are "in the performace of their duties" when patrol cars are parked out side the garda station on footpath/double yellow lines and the gardai presumably inside the station?"

Yes, this would be the case for patrol cars.

author by aristotlepublication date Wed Feb 13, 2008 21:23author address author phone

Now what about something entirely novel for Indymedia:

How about a discussion on your obligations as members of society, and how your polite assistance to the Gardai can make life better and more civilized and secure for us all.

author by Stephen dpublication date Wed Feb 13, 2008 23:43author address author phone

Aristotle, Indymedia does nor write or publish articles. It's simply a forum and an open-publishing newswire open to all.

This article on your rights dealing with the Gardaí was written in a certain context, the context of protest, where members of An Garda Síochána have proven themselves to be thugs and bullies with no moral or legal compass.

If you want to present or discuss a different context where civilised Gardaí exist and function, I'm sure we'd all love to read about it. So why don't you click on the 'Publish' button and write about it yourself?

author by Aristotlepublication date Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:40author address author phone

In fact, the evidence that Gardai acted like thugs and bullies with respect to protestors is completely absent. These are merely unsubstantiated allegations on the part of people, all of whom are in the category "they would say that anyway".

There is graphic evidence, including TV footage, that Gardai at Ballinaboy and in Dublin during the Ulster march were subjected to stone-throwing and vicious and indiscriminate violence on the part of protestors who came to those places with the premeditated objective of violence.

These matters are very much to the point in a discussion on "the rights of protestors" and attitudes towards the police.

author by Socratespublication date Thu Feb 14, 2008 15:32author address author phone

Please direct us to the footage of stone throwing and vioent protesters in Mayo.

The we will start to take tou seriously but until then your slander remains sickening.

How can you expect to win a debate with lies.

author by Damopublication date Fri May 30, 2008 17:21author address author phone

I'm with you Aristotle. An acute awareness of rights, without any apparent acknowledgement of responsibilities, seems very out of kilter to me.

author by enjypublication date Mon Jun 02, 2008 00:41author address author phone

are the garda allowed search you when your under 16 without a parent.?

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:04author address author phone

The Gardai have dragged numerous local people through the Courts on a variety of trumped-up charges which have ultimately been

unproven despite blatant and systematic perjury on their part. But even they have never suggested that a stone was ever thrown at

Bellinaboy or any of the other Erris flashpoints. To try to lump the activities at the Love Ulster march in with the dignified resistance of the

people of Erris is typical disingenuous Garda apologism which I can't allow to go unchallenged. If such a thing had happened down

here, believe me, R.T.E would only have been too happy to show it. On the contrary, the Gardai have filmed every element of every day of

protest, and it is they who now claim to have lost vital footage pertaining to a case where local men are currently facing a jail sentence. If

they, or any of the numerous T.V channels who've been down here had any evidence of stone throwing, it would be used on the network

channels every time Bellinaboy was mentioned. The original Aristotle was a brilliant philosopher. This one is full of shit.

author by Fankpublication date Mon Jun 23, 2008 23:13author address author phone

What an idiot. How does this help?
Small person with limited understanding of the world.
What will you do when you are asleep in bed in your house and you hear the window going in downstairs. You know he is there to rob your stuff. You know he is probably high. you ar you spouse oryour kids will be harmed if h comes upstairs. He will be armed, he as to be to get in in the first place. After you have wet the bed with fear you will call the very same people who, you for your own agenda, despise.
Grow up and get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author by MacEpublication date Tue Jun 24, 2008 09:20author address author phone

That's what they're paid for, not hospitalising oul' fellas and pushing women around. Think about it.

Related Link:
author by dundalk manpublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 00:36author address author phone

i would just like 2 quickly say thank you for the time and effort that u put in2 illustrating our writes when being in a tense situation with a gard.although i hav come across some decent gards it is still very upsettin when confronted by a person in athority who is completetly out 2 get u 4 no provoked reason.the worst is when a gard is being very smutty with u even when u are acting rediculously polite.its scary because know wants to get in2 trouble.and an arguement with a gard most will say is a losing battle.because the law looks after its own and most people dont know the limits of what u can say 2 a gard 2 put him in his place with out diggin ur self a only 19 so i dont hav enough experience in what im talkin about but i hav learned a thinhg or 2 about my rights so 4 that i thank u

author by sinnpublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 01:19author address author phone

was a member of SF in the late 80's and 90's. they had a good know your rights procedure. as i understand it it's not an offence not to give your name but they can detain you unill they are satisfied they established your identiy. we were told name address and age if under 21. thats it. also get name of garda who stopped you or number if there in uniform( apparently they weren't obliged to give name) and log it straight away, make a complaint, not that a complaint would stop anything but a string of complaints could sustansiate a case at a future date if the harrasment continued. maybe the law has change since then but thats what we where told.

author by Brianpublication date Sat Dec 26, 2009 18:05author address author phone

I was just wondering, is a guard required to display his/her rank and number on their uniform, while on foot, or on traffic duty, including yellow visibility jacket?? I heard this is so, but would love if somebody could let me know, thanks.

author by Sidelinepublication date Sun Dec 27, 2009 00:29author address author phone

Yes. a uniformed garda is supposed to wear his/her number on their sholder. rank is not an issue i dont think !

author by answerpublication date Fri Jan 01, 2010 18:46author address author phone

There is no actual law stating that gardaí have to display numbers.

It's normal for some ranks to display a number which shows their area of operation (single letters show stations in Dublin, double letters show division in the rest of the country) and a serial number on their shoulders, but they often don't. Newish additions to the garda uniform like their paramilitary style jacket and their public order uniform are never worn with numbers visible.

Ranks above sergeant have never shown numbers on their uniforms.

All police officers (who are not operating under cover) SHOULD of course wear identification numbers, but there is no legislation to make them.

author by ozzy911publication date Fri Jan 15, 2010 21:45author address author phone

can a male garda search a female

author by Johnpublication date Tue Jan 19, 2010 22:11author address author phone

I have a question here. I was driving about the town one night with an english reg car. I was stopped by a guard while he was walking on the footpath. He stopped me asked for license told me to clear the car (vrt) and then told me to go home. Can a guard tell you to go home and I was doing anything out if site?? and If I was driving a southern reg car can he still tell you to go home??

author by late night lawyerpublication date Wed Jan 20, 2010 01:52author address author phone

A garda can't give you an instruction to go anywhere. He can however instruct you to leave a particular area.

In theory he could instruct you to leave everywhere in the world but you own home, but this would never stand up in court.

If a garda decides that your car is not roadworthy or for some reason believes that you shouldn't be driving it, he may impound it, so he may have been giving you a let off by telling you to simply take the car home.

author by late night lawyerpublication date Wed Jan 20, 2010 01:57author address author phone

A garda can't force you to submit to a search. If you have some reason why you don't want to be searched by a male garda you should say so, and ask for a female garda to be brought to the scene.

However, they might just arrest you and take you to the station to be searched.

author by Iamsampublication date Mon Jan 25, 2010 22:53author address author phone

Thats simple shocking advise by latenightlawyer, shocking

Male Garda should not search a female prisoner unless very exceptional circumstances (bag, jacket, etc is OK) and Gardai very much can force you to undergo a search. You think drug dealers simple go with the flow????? Most common is Section 23, misuse of drigs act and force is allowed when required. Also, detention and treatement of persons in custody regulations allow Gardai to use force if you refuse to be searched prior to entering the cell (on arrest)

All Gardai can stop and speak with drivers. Its covered under the Road traffic Act and the Garda requires no reason or suspicion. He wasnt actually telling you legally to go home and no where else, simple a general throw away comment such as "Head off". I would imagine the reason you were stopped is because your driving a northern registered vehicle which may be subject to Section 140, Finance Act. He could have seized the car so its not really an issue is it?

By the way, did you get the car registered?

author by dr seusspublication date Mon Jan 25, 2010 23:13author address author phone

That's nonsensical stuff. Idiotic. Iamsam refers to prisoners and cells and drug dealers when talking about whether a garda can search someone. But in relation to a search of someone who has not been arrested (hence the comment about perhaps being taken to the garda station and arrested). Shocking inability to read there.

author by iamsampublication date Tue Jan 26, 2010 21:10author address author phone

what the hell are you talking about doctor? The question was can a male search a female. The answer given was yes but they cannot use force.


If your not arrested they can search you (using force) for theft, drugs and weapons. Men search men and females search females.

So what exactly is YOUR point and how am I wrong?

author by diggerpublication date Tue Jan 26, 2010 23:56author address author phone

Calm down and breathe deeply.

You say "Male Garda should not search a female prisoner unless very exceptional circumstances" and then say you are not talking sopmeone who has been arrested? "prisoner"? And then you say a male garda can search a female.

What happened to the very exceptional circumstances?

And how can someone search a suspect who doesn't want to be searched without using force?

You are confused and need to stop and gather your confused thoughts before you start handing out advice you're obviously not clear about.

You might want to have a think about the difference between the words "you're" and "your" too, before you start mouthing off, but some people are idiots about grammar AND CAPITAL LETTERS.

author by iamsampublication date Thu Jan 28, 2010 22:28author address author phone

I said

A, Gardai can use force to search people
B, Males should not search females (exceptional circumstances such as immediate life and death situations)
C, Not everyone searched has been arrested.

Laws governing searching without arrest are the 'Misuse of drugs act 1977', 'Theft act 2001', 'offensive weapons act 1990' and I believe one of the offences against the state act but not sure which. Theres also still common law powers still in existence. When you have been arrested and are a prisoner the 'treatment of person in custody regulations' come into play.

Your additional questions are calling for opinion not fact so I wont answer. If you dont wish to believe what I say, fair enough but if you check you will see Im correct.

author by euey - nonepublication date Thu Feb 11, 2010 14:20author email eumurphy at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone

i get stopped every week, random breathylizer ( i happen to work late) then there the cert of insurance request when i give a clear test!!
am i better to carry my cert with me
why is the insurance disc not enough

author by Brehon - Brehon Law to Human Rightspublication date Thu Feb 11, 2010 16:05author address author phone

We can all ask ourselves the question 'Do we need to know' followed by 'Do we really need to know'?

Well this article and postings indicate that there are definitely times when 'we need to know' and when we need to know viz a viz the rights of our more vulnerable members in society.

Media coverage today alerts us to Watch and Wait for the outcome of this High Court case.

The headline reads 'Solicitor suing gardai after he was quizzed in Child Sex probe'

John Devane, a Limerick solicitor, is suing the Gardai. He is claiming that he was falsely accused of sexual assault on a child after playing Santa at school's Christmas party. Devane claims in the High Court yesterday that the allegations that he assaulted a special needs child were part of "witch hunt" against him.

He states the impact on his emotional, physical, psychological health. I also ask what about the special needs child also?

Mr. Devane has brought an action seeking damages for 'alleged slander, unlawful detention, and a failure to vindicate his rights'

This case and arrest date back to 1999....surely this is justice delayed being justice denied to all concerned.

author by nightingalepublication date Tue May 18, 2010 12:08author address author phone

Just a quick question,
If Gardai come to your house to search it for drugs do they have to produce a warrant? And on production of said warrant are you entitled to a copy of it at the scene in your house? Then if they find anything are u arrested and bought to the station then and there?

author by Twpublication date Tue May 18, 2010 12:17author address author phone

I'm not an expert, but yes, yes, and yes.

However they don't NEED a warrant to enter your house, as they can just ask ask to be allowed in. They only need a warrant if you don't agree.

As a general rule, if you are asking questions like this, you need a lawyer, and maybe a doctor.

author by Alpublication date Thu Jul 22, 2010 22:28author address author phone

"If Gardai come to your house to search it for drugs do they have to produce a warrant?"

Yes if they want to enter without permission.

"And on production of said warrant are you entitled to a copy of it at the scene in your house? "

No, your only entitled to view it. Not take a copy or even touch the original merely look at it. Of course you can request a copy through legal challenges

" Then if they find anything are u arrested and bought to the station then and there?"

Completely depends on what is found and if you claim ownership. Usually yes but not always.

author by gisty2012publication date Sun Aug 01, 2010 01:18author address author phone

Hi , I have a few questions .. hopefully somebody can help .
Can the Gardai ask questions over the phone in relation to an investigation , and then later use that information ? Am I right in thinking that information obtained in an investigation from a ''witness'' needs to be giving in a signed statement and not over the phone?

Again a similar line , can a Garda for example ; Mr X says something to a Garda in a conversation ( not a statement ) , can the Garda then go on and use that info while questioning somebody else who is giving a statement ?

My third question is a bit different , are the Gardai allowed to tell you while you stand accussed of anything ''don't lose any sleep over this'' - ''try not to worry'' - ''most of these complaints never reach court'' - ''these are very serious charges'' ...... all in the same conversation ?

author by DeputySmithpublication date Sat Aug 07, 2010 23:16author address author phone

"Can the Gardai ask questions over the phone in relation to an investigation , and then later use that information ? "

That depends on what the questions are and how they are used. A Garda can give evidence under oath stating you sais X to him because you did but not if your a suspect as you should be under caution.

"Am I right in thinking that information obtained in an investigation from a ''witness'' needs to be giving in a signed statement and not over the phone?"

No, plenty of cases do not require statements and statements in themselves are not used in court anyway. Also, why are you quoting the word 'witness'?

"Again a similar line , can a Garda for example ; Mr X says something to a Garda in a conversation ( not a statement ) , can the Garda then go on and use that info while questioning somebody else who is giving a statement ?"

Yes of course. How would they investigate crime if they didn't use whats being said to them?

"My third question is a bit different , are the Gardai allowed to tell you while you stand accussed of anything ''don't lose any sleep over this'' - ''try not to worry'' - ''most of these complaints never reach court'' - ''these are very serious charges'' ...... all in the same conversation ?"

Yes of course they can. Why would you suggest they couldnt? A and B are nice things to say to someone who is worried sick over an allegation and I would consider any Garda that takes the time to say this to be pretty caring. C, Sounds bad but again, if its the actual truth then I would suggest they are obliged to say it instead of suggesting you are going to be hung and same again with D, he is saying its serious. Is it? Should he tell fibs and say murder isnt a serious crime? (Example, obviously I have no idea what the crime is)

author by Markpublication date Thu Aug 12, 2010 02:19author address author phone

What is loitering exactly? Is it just a word used by gardai who think all teenagers enjoy harrassing randomers or is it a public order offence? It cant be an offence to stand with a group of ones peers in a public place, can it? (Im thinking Spanish Arch or Eyre Square in Galway where the gardai are always being pricks in particular)

author by To Markpublication date Mon Aug 23, 2010 19:00author address author phone

mark i find the gardai at the spanish arch and in eyre square to be very lenient. they often turn a blind eye to people drinking etc so long as they arent bothering anyone else.
they only seem to intervene when people start shouting, urinating in public view etc etc.

author by paul - garda power strugglepublication date Thu Sep 22, 2011 05:28author email dariojones78 at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone

does gards have right to come into people property when they not home to see the search warrant and take their belonging seize them? if the person is suspected of fraud? I went to the gards and i was arrested and charge to court. after 3 months on court case, they still have all my belongings. i called the gards, she told me she have the right to seize them that i should get receipt for them all. last day in court, the judge stroke out the case.

please i want to know if i can get my things back from the grads???

author by Readerpublication date Fri Sep 23, 2011 22:47author address author phone

Suggest you email or write to the Superintendent at the Garda station, ring them and ask for his name and email address. Don't discuss anything over the phone, keep it in writing. Ask him for all your property back immediately.

If you don't get a quick response or if they fuck around with you, you could contact a solicitor to help you take legal action against them.

Or you could contact the district court office and ask them to help you make a 'police property application'.

author by Micheal Pricepublication date Thu Oct 06, 2011 06:09author email mickprice6 at gmail dot comauthor address author phone

Great to read and good to know only id like to make it clear that most of the time when you refuse to give your name you are threatened and/or physically intimidated into doing whatever they say so by trying to exercise your rights you might be putting yourself in a worse situation than it could have been. Most times iv heard of people taking Gardai to court for these things the doctors reports, statments and other relevant evidence is all edited i the garda`s favour. What are we supposed to do about it if we arent even allowed a fair case or whatever?

author by marynpublication date Thu Jan 05, 2012 23:38author email author address tralee co kerryauthor phone

please help! is it true that gardai are obliged to tell you that you are breaking the law? do they have to quote you an act or section of law you may be about to break ?

author by Jerrypublication date Sun Aug 12, 2012 15:39author address author phone

Hello, does anyone know how to bring a case against members of the Gardai? Do you sue the Department of Justice, the Minister for Justice, The Garda Commissioner?

Thanks for any help.

author by Richardpublication date Tue Jul 02, 2013 18:11author address author phone

I believe section 24 of public order act makes it an offence.

24.—(1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána finds any person committing an offence under a relevant provision, the member may arrest such person without warrant.

(2) Where a member of the Garda Síochána is of the opinion that an offence has been committed under a relevant provision, the member may—

(a) demand the name and address of any person whom the member suspects, with reasonable cause, has committed, or whom the member finds committing, such an offence, and

(b) arrest without warrant any such person who fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded, or gives a name or address which the member has reasonable grounds for believing is false or misleading.

(3) Any person who fails or refuses to give his name and address when demanded by virtue of subsection (2), or gives a name or address when so demanded which is false or misleading, shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (3) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(5) In this section “relevant provision” means section 4 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 11 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 or 19 .

Related Link:
author by panic - napublication date Sat Nov 16, 2013 20:32author address author phone

Can one person record a conversation with another person without getting there permission or telling them the conversation was been recorded? Also can the information that was recorded be used in a court?

author by anthonypublication date Fri Jan 03, 2014 03:48author address author phone

One of the most important Articles of the Constitution is Article 15.4, which states that the Oireachtas must not enact any law that is repugnant to the Constitution and that any such law is invalid. This means that the Constitution is superior to all other law. If a proposed new law is repugnant to the Constitution, it cannot be enacted without first changing the Constitution by a constitutional referendum.

author by wageslave - (moderator)publication date Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:44author address author phone

this story specifically relates to activists knowing their rights when dealing with Gardai in that capacity. Some of you think it's funny to post fake comments here. We don't.

Previous unrelated comments or any we suspect are not genuine will now be removed from this thread shortly.

Only genuine comments that provide actual useful info will be allowed in future here.

Any further piss taking comments or daft enquiries about car or drug related matters will be ruthlessly pruned.

Consult a solicitor if you have a genuine problem with the gardai which is drug related, car related, etc and which is not in the context of activism. In fact you should consult one regardless. The information here is only intended as a rough guide, may possibly be outdated and should not be solely relied on in serious legal matters. It remains here mainly for historical purposes.


author by Stomper78publication date Fri May 30, 2014 19:20author address author phone

Can anyone help me please?

Are the Gardaí allowed to ring a member of your family(aunt) as they have her number on file for another reason, to seek and obtain your own personal mobile number?

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