Forensic Science Ireland Annual Report 2019 View More News Articles

Forensic Science Ireland Annual Report 2019

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today welcomed the publication of the Annual Report of Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) for 2019. The Annual Report also includes a report on the operation of the DNA Database in 2019, in compliance with the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014. The report was submitted to the Minister by FSI and brought to the Government yesterday by Minister McEntee.

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.