Access to Garda records
The Garda Síochána holds information, data and records that are gathered and processed in order to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute crime.
You have the right to access certain information about you that is held by the Gardaí under data protection laws.
Can I access any data being held on me by the Gardaí?
You can access any data being held but there are a number of restrictions on the data you can access. In certain circumstances the Gardaí can refuse access.
You can make a request to the Garda Síochána for a copy of any personal data that it has about you. You are entitled to:
- Get a copy of the personal data being kept about you
- Know why the data is being kept
- Know the identity of anyone that the Gardaí share the data with
- Know how the Gardaí obtained the data (unless it would be against public interest)
You also have other rights under data protection law, including the right to have any inaccurate personal information about you corrected or erased and the right to complain to the Data Protection Commission.
Once the Gardaí receive a valid request from you, they must reply to you within 1 month. This is the case even if they do not hold any of your personal data or they are refusing the request.
If the Gardaí decide to provide the information to you, they must:
- Supply the information to you within 1 month of receiving your request. (If your request is complicated or involves a large amount of data, the Gardaí can extend this period to 3 months. They must tell you they are doing this within 1 month of getting your request).
- Provide the information in a way that is clear.
If you request a copy of your criminal record, personal data relating to spent convictions (if any) is provided separately to other personal data relating to criminal records or court outcomes.
You can authorise someone else to request your data, you will have to confirm in writing that you are authorising this person to make the request. The Gardaí will need to be satisfied as to the identity of your representative.
Can the Gardaí refuse my request?
In certain circumstances, the Gardaí can refuse your request for personal data and withhold that information. These include where:
- Your request for data would identify someone else. This also applies to the Gardaí's obligation to provide details of the source of the information. If the source or origin of the information identifies a third party, then it can be withheld.
- It would interfere in the prevention, detection or investigation of a crime, or interfere with arresting or prosecuting offenders.
How do I apply to the Gardaí for my personal data?
Requests for personal data can be made using the Garda Siochana data access request form (pdf).
You must provide enough information to establish your identity and to allow the Garda Data Protection Processing Unit to locate the information you request.
In order to get your own personal data, you need to provide the following:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Any other names used by you
- A copy of a recent utility bill or government letter sent to your current address (within the last 6 months)
- Photographic ID, for example, a copy of your passport or driving licence
Refusals and appeals
You can make a complaint to the Data Protection Commission if you believe the Gardaí are not following the law by refusing your request. When you raise a concern with the Data Protection Commission, it will give you an update or outcome report within 3 months.
If the Data Protection Commission decides that the Gardaí are in breach of data protection law, the Commission may serve an enforcement notice to make the Gardaí give you the information you have requested.
Requests for your personal data, or a request on behalf of someone else should be addressed to:
For all other queries about Data Protection in An Garda Síochána contact:
Appeals or complaints about a decision to refuse you access to information held about you by the Gardaí should be made to: