If Your Rights Aren’t Respected

In Ireland, no one person or organisation is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints that a victims’ rights have been violated. However, there are a few steps that you can take if you think your rights have not been respected.

Raise your concerns directly with the organisation responsible. You can do this informally by asking to speak with a supervisor or you can follow the organisation’s formal complaint procedure. This will usually mean making your complaint in writing. In the case of the Gardaí, you should speak to a sergeant or a superintendent about your concerns.

Complain to the Garda Ombudsman

Make a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC). If you do this, the case can be investigated for “breach of discipline”. However, GSOC cannot force the Gardaí to act in a specific way. The Garda Ombudsman may make recommendations to the Garda Commissioner concerning disciplinary proceedings.

Complain to the Children’s Ombudsman

Make a complaint to the Children’s Ombudsman if the victim is a child and the complaint is about a public body other than An Garda Síochána.

Seek legal advice

You can also look for legal advice.

Find out more


The Department of Justice has created a Victims Charter that describes what victims can expect from the criminal justice system.


When you
report a Crime

When you first contact the Gardaí (Irish police) or the Garda Ombudsman Commission, you are entitled to be offered a wide range of information.


At Court

When a case makes its way to court, victims have a number of rights to help protect them from repeat victimisation.



While investigating your case, the Gardaí will decide whether you need special supports or protections. Among the things they will consider when making their decision are your personal circumstances and the type and circumstances of the crime.


Get Help Now

The Crime Victims Helpline is a listening and support service for victims of crime in Ireland. We provide time and space for victims to talk about their experiences. We also answer questions about the criminal justice system and help victims understand their rights.

Support Services

If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by crime, there are a number of organization in Ireland who can help.