GÁRDA SÍOCHÁNA (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) ACT, 1923

GÁRDA SÍOCHÁNA (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) ACT, 1923
1 Short Title and Duration of Act.
2 Power to Executive Council to raise Gárda Síochána.
3 Appointment of Commissioner.
4 Appointment of Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioners and Surgeon.
5 Appointment of officers and men.
6 Declaration to be made by members of the Gárda Síochána.
7 Distribution of Gárda Síochána throughout Saorstát Eireann.
8 Regulations as to pay and allowances.
9 Regulation as to pensions.
10 Disposition of Reserve Force.
11 Inquiry into charges against members of the Gárda Síochána.
12 Members of the Gárda Síochána not to resign without permission.
13 Duty of member of Gárda Síochána on resignation or dismissal.
14 Reputation to be evidence of appointments.
15 Formation of representative bodies.
16 Penalty for causing disaffection.
17 Penalty for unlawful possession of clothing or equipment.
18 Regulations as to internal management.
19 Expenses to be paid by Oireachtas.
20 Gárda Síochána Reward Fund.
21 Adaptation of statutory references to the Royal Irish Constabulary.
22 Existing police force to be governed by this Act.
23 Repeals.
24 Definitions.
FIRST SCHEDULE
SECOND SCHEDULE
THIRD SCHEDULE
FOURTH SCHEDULE
FIFTH SCHEDULE

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH IN SAORSTÁT EIREANN AND REGULATE A POLICE FORCE TO BE CALLED THE GÁRDA SÍOCHÁNA

[8th August, 1923.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

 
Short Title and Duration of Act.

1.—(1) This Act may be cited as The Gárda Síochána (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923.

     (2) This Act shall continue in force until other provisions shall have been made by law for the establishment and regulation of a Police Force in Saorstát Eireann and shall not in any case continue in force after the period of one year from the date of the passing hereof.

 
Power to Executive Council to raise Gárda Síochána.

2.—(1) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council of Saorstát Eireann to raise, train, equip, pay and maintain in Saorstát Eireann a force of police to be called and known as "The Gárda Síochána."

     (2) The police force aforesaid shall consist of such numbers of officers and men as the Executive Council shall from time to time determine, but not exceeding the total numbers of officers and men respectively specified in the First Schedule to this Act.

 
Appointment of Commissioner.

3.—The general direction and control of the Gárda Síochána shall, subject to regulations made by the Minister under this Act, be vested in the Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána, who shall from time to time be appointed, and may at any time be removed, by the Executive Council.

 
Appointment of Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioners and Surgeon.

4.—(1) The Executive Council may from time to time, if and whenever they shall consider it expedient so to do, appoint fit persons to be respectively Deputy-Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners of the Gárda Síochána to assist the Commissioner in the direction and control of the Gárda Síochána and to exercise such functions in that behalf as the Commissioner shall, subject to regulations made by the Minister under this Act, assign to them respectively.

     (2) The Executive Council shall from time to time appoint a fit and qualified person to be Surgeon of the Gárda Síochána, who shall perform such duties in relation to the medical service of the Gárda Síochána as the Commissioner shall, subject to regulations made by the Minister under this Act, assign to him.

     (3) If and whenever the Commissioner is incapacitated by illness from performing his duties, or the office of Commissioner is vacant, the Minister may authorise the exercise or performance by the Deputy-Commissioner, during such incapacity or vacancy, of all or any of the power and duties of the Commissioner.

     (4) Any Deputy-Commissioner, Assistant-Commissioner or Surgeon appointed under this section may at any time be removed from his office by the Executive Council

 
Appointment of officers and men.

5.—(1) The officers of the Gárda Síochána shall be divided into the several ranks specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and all such officers below the rank of Surgeon shall be appointed and may at any time be dismissed, by the Executive Council, and may be from time to time promoted or degraded by the Commissioner in accordance with regulations made under this Act.

     (2) The men of the Gárda Síochána shall be divided into the several ranks specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and shall be enrolled and appointed, and may be from time to time promoted, degraded or dismissed by the Commissioner in accordance with regulations made under this Act.

 
Declaration to be made by members of the Gárda Síochána.

6.—No person appointed to be an officer or other member of the Gárda Siochána shall be capable of holding the said office or of acting in any way therein until he shall have made and subscribed before a Peace Commissioner a declaration in the form contained in the Second Schedule to this Act.

 
Distribution of Gárda Síochána throughout Saorstát Eireann.

7.—(1) The Gárda Síochána shall be distributed and stationed throughout Saorstát Eireann in such manner as the Minister shall by regulations made under this Act from time to time direct, but no member of the Gárda Síochána shall be stationed for ordinary police duties (save as hereinafter in this Act authorised) within the limits of the Dublin Metropolitan Police District.

     (2) Nothing in this section shall prevent the maintenance of headquarters, training stations or reserve depots within the Dublin Metropolitan Police District.

 
Regulations as to pay and allowances.

8.—(1) The Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, from time to time by order regulate and appoint the rates of pay and allowances to be paid to the several ranks of the officers and men of the Gárda Siochána.

     (2) Every order made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by Dáil Eireann within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which Dáil Eireann has sat annulling such order, such order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such order, and any recommendation in respect of such order which shall be made by Seined Eireann within such twenty-one days shall be duly considered by Dáil Eireann.

 
Regulation as to pensions.

9.—(1) The Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, from time to time by order authorise the grant and payment of pensions, allowances and gratuities to officers and men of the Gárda Síochána and to their widows, children and dependants, and regulate and appoint the rates and scales of such pensions, allowances and gratuities and the conditions under which the same are to be payable, and may by any such order prescribe the penalties for any fraudulent conduct in relation to an application for any such pension, allowance or gratuity.

     (2) No order made under this section shall come into operation unless and until it has been laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and approved by resolution of Dáil Eireann, and when considering any such resolution Dáil Eireann shall duly consider any recommendation which shall have been previously made by Seanad Eireann in respect of such order.

 
Disposition of Reserve Force.

10.—(1) A portion of the Gárda Síochána (in this Act called the Reserve Force) not exceeding the numbers specified in the Third Schedule to this Act shall normally be retained in such reserve depot in the City of Dublin or elsewhere as the Minister shall from time to time direct.

     (2) If and whenever the Minister is of opinion on the advice of the Council of the County, County Borough or Urban or Rural District, concerned, or on the advice of the Commissioner or otherwise, that in order to meet an existing or anticipated disturbance or other special circumstance it is necessary or expedient to increase temporarily the numbers of the Gárda Síochána stationed in any County, County Borough, Urban or Rural District, or (in the case of the Dublin Metropolitan Police District) to employ therein members of the Gárda Síochána for ordinary police duties, the Commissioner shall station temporarily in such County, County Borough, Urban or Rural District, so many of the Reserve Force for such period as he shall think proper but not exceeding the numbers or period authorized by the Minister.

 
Inquiry into charges against members of the Gárda Síochána.

11.—(1) It shall be lawful for the Commissioner, or for any other officer of the Gárda Síochána nominated for that purpose by the Commissioner, or for any person nominated for that purpose by the Minister to hold an inquiry and to examine on oath into the truth of any charge or complaint of neglect or violation of duty preferred against any member of the Gárda Síochána, and also by summons under his hand to require the attendance of any witness, at such inquiry.

     (2) Any person who, having been duly summoned under the foregoing sub-section to attend as a witness at any such inquiry, shall neglect or refuse to attend at such inquiry, or shall refuse to give evidence thereat shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a period not exceeding three months.

 
Members of the Gárda Síochána not to resign without permission.

12.—No member of the Gárda Síochána below the rank of Chief Superintendent shall be at liberty to resign his membership of the Gárda Síochána or to withdraw himself from his duties as such member unless authorised so to do in writing by the Chief Superintendent of the Area in which he may for the time being be stationed, or Unless he shall give to such Chief Superintendent one months notice of his intention so to resign or withdraw, and if any such member of the Gárda Siochána shall so resign or withdraw himself without such previous permission or notice he shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a period not exceeding three months.

 
Duty of member of Gárda Síochána on resignation or dismissal.

13.—Whenever a member of the Gárda Síochána shall duly resign or be dismissed from such membership, he shall within one week after such resignation or dismissal deliver all clothing, equipment and other articles supplied to him as such member to such officer of the Gárda Síochána as may be nominated by the Commissioner to take delivery thereof, and any such member who shall neglect or refuse so to deliver all such clothing, equipment and other articles shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding six months.

 
Reputation to be evidence of appointments.

14.—If any question shall arise as to the right of any officer or other member of the Gárda Síochána to hold or execute any such office, common reputation shall, to all intents and purposes, be deemed and held to be sufficient evidence of such right, and it shall not be necessary to produce any appointment, or any oath or affidavit, or other document or matter whatsoever, in proof of such right.

 
Formation of representative bodies.

15.—(1) For the purpose of enabling the members of the Gárda Síochána to consider and bring to the notice of the Commissioner and of the Minister matters affecting their welfare and efficiency, other than questions of discipline and promotion affecting individuals, there shall be established, in accordance with regulations to be made under this Act, a representative body or bodies for all or any one or more of the ranks of the Gárda Síochána below the rank of Surgeon, consisting of representatives elected by the members of the ranks or rank represented from amongst their number in manner to be prescribed by the regulations aforesaid.

     (2) Every such representative body shall be entirely independent of and unassociated with any body or person outside the Gárda Síochána.

     (3) It shall not be lawful for a member of the Gárda Síochána to be or become a member of any trade union or of any association (other than a representative body formed under this section) of which the objects or one of the objects are or is to control or influence the pay, pensions, or conditions of service of any police force.

     (4) If any question arises whether any body or association is a trade union or association to which this section applies, the question shall be determined by the Minister whose decision shall be final.

 
Penalty for causing disaffection.

16.—(1) If any person causes, or attempts to cause, or does any act calculated to cause, disaffection amongst the members of the Gárda, Síochána, or induces, or attempts to induce, or does any act calculated to induce any member of the Gárda Síochána to withhold his services or to commit a breach of discipline, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding two years, or on summary conviction, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or to both such imprisonment and fine.

     (2) Every fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the Gárda Síochána Reward Fund.

 
Penalty for unlawful possession of clothing or equipment.

17.—(1) If any person, not being, a member of the Gárda Síochána, shall have in his possession any article of clothing or equipment supplied to a member of the Gárda Síochána and shall not be able satisfactorily to account for his possession thereof, or shall, without the permission of the Commissioner, put on or wear the uniform of any rank or member of the Gárda Síochána or any colorable imitation of such uniform, or shall, for the purpose of doing or procuring to be done any act which such person would not by law be entitled to do or procure to be done of his own authority assume the name, designation or description of any rank or of any member of the Gárda Siochána, such person shall on summary conviction be liable in addition to any other punishment to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds for every such offence or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding six months.

     (2) Every fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the Gárda Síochána Reward Fund.

     (3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the wearing of any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or other dramatic representation or performance.

 
Regulations as to internal management.

18.—The Minister may from time to time, subject to the approval of the Executive Council, make regulations in relation to all or any of the matters following, that is to say:—

     ( a ) the admission, appointment, and enrolment, of members of the Gárda Síochána;

     ( b ) the promotion, retirement, degradation, dismissal, and punishment of members of the Gárda Síochána;

     ( c ) the duties of the several ranks of the Gárda Síochána;

     ( d ) the maintenance, training, discipline, and efficiency of the Gárda Síochána;

     ( e ) the formation of representative bodies of members of the Gárda Síochána;

     ( f ) any other matter or thing relating to the internal management of the Gárda Síochána.

 
Expenses to be paid by Oireachtas.

19.—(1) Save as is otherwise provided by this Act, all the costs, charges and expenses; incurred in respect of the Gárda Síochána under this Act or otherwise in the execution of this Act shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

     (2) Nothing in this Act shall affect the liability of any Council, committee or other body under any of the statutes or portions of statutes specifically mentioned in the Fourth Schedule to this Act as amended or adapted by or under any subsequent Act (including this Act), for the several expenses respectively mentioned in the said statutes or portions of statutes as so amended or adapted.

 
Gárda Síochána Reward Fund.

20.—There shall be established in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister for Finance a fund to be called the "Gárda Síochána Reward Fund," which shall be administered in such manner as the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance may from time to time prescribe, for the reward or benefit of members of the Gárda Síochána, and there shall be paid into that Fund the following sums, viz:—

     ( a ) all disciplinary fines imposed on any officer or other member of the Gárda Síochána; and

     ( b ) all fines, penalties, proportions of fines or penalties and damages awarded by any court, judge or justice to any member of the Gárda Síochána on any summary conviction as the prosecutor of any information or otherwise; and

     ( c ) all fines and penalties and proportions of fines or penalties directed by or under any Act for the time being in force to be paid into the said Fund; and

     ( d ) all fines and penalties and proportion of fines or penalties directed by or under any Act for the time being in force to be paid into the Constabulary Force Fund; and

     ( e ) all fees allowed by law to be taken by members of the Gárda Síochána as ex officio inspectors of weights and measures in so far as such fees are not applicable to the payment of expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the Weights and Measures Acts; and

     ( f ) all fines directed by this Act to be paid into the said Fund.

 
Adaptation of statutory references to the Royal Irish Constabulary.

21.—(1) Every mention of or reference to the Royal Irish Constabulary or any Inspector. Constable or other officer or man of the Royal Irish Constabulary (other than provisions relating to the pay, allowances, pensions, distribution or internal management, or to the liability for the cost of, the Royal Irish Constabulary) contained in any statute or statutory rule, order or regulation in force in Saorstát Eireann immediately after the passing of this Act shall be construed and take effect as a mention of or reference to the Gárda Síochána or an Inspector, Guard, or other officer or man (as the case may require) of equivalent rank in the Gárda Síochána, and if any question shall arise whether generally or in any particular case as to what is the equivalent rank, such question shall be determined by the Minister whose decision shall be final.

     (2) The District Justices (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 (No. 6 of 1923), shall be construed and take effect as if the expression "Civic Guard" wherever the same occurs in the said Act other than in section 11 thereof included the Gárda Síochána established under this Act.

 
Existing police force to be governed by this Act.

22.—From and after the passing of this Act the police force now existing in Saorstát Eireann under the name of "The Civic Guard" shall be deemed to have been established under and shall be governed by this Act, and every person who is now or was at any time a member of that police force shall, subject to his having taken or hereafter taking an oath or declaration in the form set out in the Second Schedule to this Act, be deemed to be or to have been a member of the Gárda Síochána established under this Act, and to have been a member thereof during all the time he was a member of that police force, and every mention or reference contained in any Act of the Oireachtas passed or to be passed in the present Session of or to the Civic Guard shall where the context so admits or requires be construed and take effect as including a mention of or reference to the Gárda Síochána established under this Act.

 
Repeals.

23.—(1) The several Acts specified in the Fifth Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the third column of that Schedule.

     (2) The repeals effected by this section shall not prejudice or affect the right of any person to any pension, allowance or gratuity to which he has before the passing of this Act become entitled under any Act repealed by this section.

 
Definitions.

24.—In this Act—

the word "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána

the word "Minister" means the Minister for Home Affairs.

FIRST SCHEDULE

MAXIMUM ESTABLISHMENT OF GÁRDA SÍOCHÁNA.

1. Officers 

Commissioner.

Deputy Commissioner.

Assistant Commissioners of whom there shall be not more than two.

Surgeon.

Chief Superintendents of whom there shall be not more than twenty-five.

Superintendents and Inspectors of whom there shall be not more than one hundred and forty.

 
2. Non-commissioned Ranks. 

Sergeants of whom there shall be not more than nine hundred and fifty.

Guards of whom there shall be not more than four thousand, four hundred.

 

SECOND SCHEDULE

FORM OF DECLARATION.

     "I ................................................................... do solemnly and sincerely before God declare and affirm and my word and honour pledge that I will be faithful to the utmost of my ability in my employment by the Ard Chorahairle of Saorstát Eireann in the office of............................................... in the Gárda Síochána and that I will render good and true service and obedience to Saorstát Eireann and its constitution and government as by law established, without favour or affection, fear, malice or ill-will and that I will see and cause the peace to be kept and preserved, and that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences against the same, and that while I shall continue to hold the said office, I will to the best of my knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law, and that I do not now belong, and that I will not while I hold the said office, join, belong, or subscribe to any political society whatsoever, or to any Secret Society whatsoever."

THIRD SCHEDULE

RESERVE FORCE.

Superintendents

and

Inspectors

 
Sergeants  20 
Guards  200 

FOURTH SCHEDULE

STATUTORY PROVISIONS PRESERVED.

1. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1851, Section 4.

2. Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, Sections 13 and 29.

3. Weights and Measures Act, 1878, Sections 80 and 81.

4. Weights and Measures Act, 1889, sub-section (2) of Section, 19.

FIFTH SCHEDULE

ACTS REPEALED.

6 & 7 Will. IV. ch. 13. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1836. The whole Act except Sections 15,16, 23, 31, 32, 33, and 50. 
6 & 7 Will. IV. ch. 36. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1836 (No. 2). The whole Act. 
6 & 7 Will. IV. ch. 116. Grand Jury (Ireland) Act, 1836. Section 101. 
2 & 3 Vict ch. 75. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1839. The whole Act. 
3 & 4 Vict. ch. 108. The Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act, 1840. Sections 121 and 122. 
7 & 8 Vict. ch. 106. The County Dublin Grand Jury Act, 1844. Section 36. 
8 & 9 Vict. ch. 46. Special Constables (Ireland) Act, 1845 The whole Act 
9 & 10 Vict. ch. 97. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1846 The whole Act. 
10 & 11 Vict. ch. 100. Irish Constabulary Act, 1847. The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary. 
11 & 12 Vict. ch. 72. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1848. The whole Act,. 
14 & 15 Vict. ch. 85. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1851. The whole Act except section 4. 
17 & 18 Vict. ch. 103. Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854. Section 89 from the beginning down to and including the words "as shall be fixed by the said Lord Lieutenant." 
20 & 21 Vict. ch. 7. Grand Jury Cess (Ireland) Act, 1857. Sections 3 and 4. 
22 & 23 Vict. ch. 22. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1859. The whole Act. 
28 & 29 Vict. ch. 70. Constabulary (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1865. The whole Act. 
29 & 30 Vict. ch. 103. Constabulary (Ireland) Act. 1866. The whole Act. 
33 & 34 Vict. ch. 83. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1870. The whole Act. 
37 & 38 Vict. ch. 80. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1874. The whole Act except section 9. 
40 & 41 Vict. ch. 20. Constabulary (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1877. The whole Act. 
45 & 46 Vict. ch. 63. Constabulary (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1882. The whole Act. 
46 & 47 Vict. ch. 14 Constabulary & Police (Ireland) Act, 1883. The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary 
48 & 49 Vict. ch. 12 Constabulary (Ireland) Re-distribution Act, 1885. The whole Act, 
60 & 61 Vict. ch. 64. Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1897. The whole Act. 
8 Edwd. VII. ch. 60. Constabulary (Ireland) Act. 1908. The whole Act. 
4 & 5 Geo. V. ch. 54. Constabulary & Police (Ireland) Act, 1914.  The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary. 
6 & 7 Geo. V. ch. 59. Constabulary & Police (Ireland) Act, 1916. The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary. 
8 & 9 Geo. V. ch. 53. Constabulary & Police (Ireland) Act, 1918. The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary. 
9 & 10 Geo. V. ch. 68. Constabulary & Police (Ireland) Act, 1919. The whole Act so far as the same relates to the Royal Irish Constabulary. 

Source: Irish Statute Book Database

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