The chairperson of the Garda Ombudsman Commission has said its protected disclosure unit needs more investigators.

Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring told the Oireachtas Justice Committee this morning that the new unit is currently dealing with 25 cases and more gardaí have come forward this year.

The chairperson said it was also looking for additional staff to set up a new quality control unit to ensure its investigations are of the highest standard possible.

GSOC has requested an additional 37 staff, including 24 investigators and 13 administrative staff in order to fulfil its duties properly. 

Ms Justice Ring said a decision to refuse an increase in resources will result in a failure of GSOC to be able to perform its statutory functions.

Ms Justice Ring said the Commission wants the power to investigate retired gardaí and be able to delay the retirement of gardaí under investigation.

She told the Oireachtas Justice Committee that the practical reality is that if a Garda under investigation retires, that brings the investigation to a halt.

She could not say if such retirements were already planned or if the investigation had caused gardaí to retire.

She agreed with the Chairperson of the Committee Caoimhin O Caolain that "someone under investigation shouldn't find a bolthole".

GSOC has also said it will make a decision on the garda investigation into the death of Shane O’Farrell "in the very near future".

The 23-year-old law student was cycling when he was hit by a car on the Carrickmacross to Castleblaney road on 2 August 2011.

39-year-old Zigimantas Gridzuiska, a Lithuanian national, was later given a suspended sentence of eight months at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on condition he leave Ireland.

The O’Farrell family complained to GSOC about the quality of the Garda investigation.

Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring told the Oireachtas Justice Committee that the GSOC investigation has now been completed and is with the Commission.

A decision on how to proceed would be made very soon.

She was responding to a question from the Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesman Jim O’Callaghan who referred to Shane's mother Lucia Farrell.

Committee Chairman Caoimhin O’Caolain said Mrs O' Farrell was heartbroken and welcomed the statement.