Barring orders have been issued against at least 21 serving members of An Garda Síochána since the start of 2019.
Figures provided in response to queries from The Irish Times show that five of the orders, issued under the Domestic Violence Act 2018, involve “elements of coercive control”.
A barring order is granted by a judge and requires an abusive person to leave the home and prohibits them from returning. The orders, which can be obtained in court by a spouse or someone who has been in a relationship with the respondent, aim to stop further violence, threats of violence, and people being watched or communicated with by an individual.
Under An Garda Síochána’s domestic abuse intervention policy, members are required to report the existence of any such orders for which they are a respondent under the Act.
The offence of coercive control – a pattern of intimidation or humiliation involving psychological or emotional abuse – was introduced when the Act came into effect in January 2019.
Before the courts
An Garda Síochána said one member of the force is currently before the district court charged with the offence but the figures state that none have been convicted of coercive control to date.
The force said that since the start of 2019 a total of 21 cases have been “reported to Internal Affairs in which a serving member is a respondent for an order issued under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
“Nine of the 21 cases are subject to internal disciplinary enquiries for breaches of a domestic violence order, in addition to ongoing criminal investigations,” it said in a statement.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris this week said criminal investigations into gardaí accused of sexual crimes or domestic violence are being reviewed to ensure they are being dealt with properly and quickly.
The move follows the controversy in the UK over the murder of Sarah Everard by former Metropolitian police officer Wayne Couzens. It has since emerged that there were criminal suspic