Síochána are entitled to interview you if you have been arrested, charged
and cautioned in Ireland. You can also go to a Garda station to be interviewed
voluntarily. In this case you are free to leave at any time. There are
different rules that apply to people being interviewed who are under the age of
Your rights during a Garda interview
You have a right to consult a solicitor before you are interviewed.
Before you are interviewed, the Garda conducting the interview will identify themselves, 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 Gardaí can question you at any one time and no more than four Gardaí 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.
You may not be questioned between midnight and 8 a.m. in relation to an offence, unless you were brought to the station during that time, or in exceptional circumstances.
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 understand the significance of questions put to you or your answers, you cannot be questioned while you are in that condition except 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 they are not present at the interview, and record it.
Record of the interview
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 Gardaípresent. If the interview is not electronically recorded, the record will be kept in the Garda's notebook.
Your solicitor’s role
If your solicitor is present at your interview, they will sit with you and they may intervene during questioning. This may be to:
- Seek clarification
- Challenge an improper question
- Advise you not to answer a question
- Request the interview be suspended so they can advise you
They cannot stop you from answering questions or tell you what to say. You can choose not to answer questions and instead provide a prepared statement.
Rules for those under 18 years of age
If you are under 18 years of age, you cannot be questioned unless a parent or guardian is present, except in exceptional circumstances. 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 adult other than a Garda to attend.
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 they were at the interview.