The Gardaí (Irish police force) are entitled to interview you if you have been arrested, charged and cautioned in Ireland. There are different rules that apply to the interviews of people over 18 years and people under 18 years.
If you are 18 years old or over
You have a right to consult a solicitor before you are interviewed. If you ask for a solicitor you cannot be questioned until they arrive, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are interviewed, the Garda conducting the interview will identify himself or herself and any other Garda in the room, by name and rank.
The interview must be conducted in a fair and humane manner.
No more than two Gardai can question you at any one time and no more than four Gardai can be in the room at any one time during the interview.
If an interview has lasted for four hours, it must either be ended or adjourned for a reasonable time.
As far as possible, interviews will take place in rooms set aside for interviews only.
Except with the permission of the Garda in charge of the station, you may not be questioned between midnight and 8 a.m. in relation to an offence. Permission can only be given in exceptional circumstances or if you were brought to the station during that time.
If you are deaf or there is doubt about your hearing ability, you cannot be questioned without an interpreter, if one is reasonably available, unless you give your written consent. If you have requested an interpreter and one is not reasonably available, any questions will be put to you in writing.
If you are drunk or under the influence of drugs so that you are unable to appreciate the significance of questions put to you or your answers, you cannot be questioned while you are in that condition except with the permission of the member in charge of the station. Permission can only be given in exceptional circumstances
If, while you are being interviewed, you make a complaint to a Garda in relation to your treatment while in custody, the Garda must notify the member in charge of the station, if he or she is not present at the interview, and record it.
A record must be kept of your interview either by the Garda conducting it or by another Garda who is present. The record must include details of the time the interview began and ended, any breaks in it, the place of the interview and the names and ranks of the Gardai present.
If the interview is not electronically recorded, the record will be kept in the Garda's notebook.
If you are under 18 years old
If you are under 18 years of age, you cannot be questioned unless a parent or guardian is present. You have a right to consult a solicitor before you are interviewed.
If it is not possible to get the parent or guardian you requested to come to the interview, the member in charge of the station must try to arrange for your other parent, another guardian, an adult relative or some other responsible person other than a Garda to attend.
The member in charge of the station may give permission to question you without a parent or guardian present in exceptional circumstances or if it has not been possible to communicate with a parent or guardian or to get them to attend within a reasonable time.
The member in charge may exclude your parent or guardian from the interview if:
- your parent or guardian is the victim of the offence being investigated
- your parent or guardian has been arrested in relation to the offence or is a suspect,
- the member in charge has reasonable grounds for believing that your parent or guardian would obstruct the course of justice if he or she was at the interview.