The ICCL also found gaps in human rights compliance

A new report has expressed concern over pepper spray usage by the Gardaí.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) report says the likely use of pepper spray by the force is at a higher rate than the Metropolitan Police or the PSNI.

The document was compiled by former human rights advisor to the Policing Board of Northern Ireland, Alyson Kilpatrick.

She also found that there's a "serious gap" in human rights compliance in a number of areas - including the policing of protest, investigation of hate crime, stop-and-search practices, State security, and the treatment of people in Garda detention.

She highlighted "particular problems" with the oversight and accountability mechanisms of State security - recommending that the Gardaí should develop, and publish, written policy on all covert activity.

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She also highlighted problems with the use of force.

She recommended "recording all circumstances of deployments of weapons or use of force" - together with an explanation of the circumstances, location of use, outcome and the identity of the garda(í) involved.

She further suggested sharing this information with the Policing Authority.

Deputy Garda Commissioner for Policing and Security, John Twomey, said: "An Garda Síochána will study the recommendations from the ICCL.

"Any ideas on how An Garda Síochána can strengthen its delivery of a human rights-based policing and security service are always welcome.

"Respecting and protecting the human rights of all individuals we interact with is one of the three key policing principles that guide how we deliver our service to the public."

Deputy Commissioner Twomey said Gardaí has taken a number of measures to ensure it provides a human rights-based policing and security service.