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Forensic Science Ireland. (2020) Forensic Science Ireland annual report 2019. Dublin: Forensic Science Ireland.

PDF (Forensic Science Ireland 2019)

2019 was a very significant year for FSI in many regards.  FSI launched its strategic plan for the period 2019 – 2022 at an event in April at the Backweston Laboratory Campus. The venue was chosen as this will be the future location of the new FSI laboratory, due for completion in 2022.

During 2019 we formally integrated two services, Fingerprints and Documents & Handwriting, from the Garda National Technical Bureau into FSI. Several Garda members and staff have seconded to FSI to support these services and we are delighted to have them as part of our organisation. FSI increased the number of cases reported by more than 20% over the year – supporting crime investigations including murders and serious assaults, sexual assaults, drugs, possession of firearms and explosives. 

2019 was also a successful year for the National DNA Database. The reference index of the database grew by close to 10,000 profiles and close to 1,500 crime stains were added. Significantly, 43 out of every 100 crime scene samples uploaded onto the database will now be linked to a person. FSI also started the exchange of DNA profiles through the Prüm Treaty in 2019. This treaty allows for the automated anonymous comparison of profiles amongparticipating countries and enables fast information exchange for intelligence purposes. Ireland exchanged data bilaterally with Austria starting in 2019,identifying matches to suspects with serious offences such as sexual assaults in both countries. This provides valuable intelligence to policing organisations across Europe as they cooperate across international borders. 

The analysis of materials thought to contravene the Misuse of Drugs Acts constitute the highest number of submissions to FSI and are supported by the Chemical Analysis department. Case submissions vary widely in size, drug mix and complexity. These cases can involve new psychoactive substances that pose particular analytical challenges. The drugs team have influenced legislation through the identification and characterisation of drugs in the market place. In addition to drugs submissions, debris samples from suspicious fires are analysed for accelerants (e.g. petrol), offensive sprays (such as pepper spray) are evaluated and toxicology samples associated with sexual assault cases are analysed and evaluated.


P.12 - Case Study 8: An Garda Síochána seized a large amount of drugs throughout 2019. Over 10,000 cases were submitted to the Drugs Teams in FSI during the year.

P.16 & 17 - Service Development and Growth: Drugs and toxicology 2017-2019

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
September 2020
52 p.
Forensic Science Ireland
Corporate Creators
Forensic Science Ireland
Place of Publication
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