Protected disclosures (Whistleblowing)

Protected Disclosures 

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014, as amended by the Protected Disclosures Amendment Act 2022, (the Act), makes provision for the protection of workers, from the taking of action against them, in respect of the making of certain disclosures.

The CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland has been prescribed as a recipient of protected disclosures in relation to ‘All matters relating to the protection, management and conservation of the inland fisheries resource and enforcement of the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2019’.

The Board and senior management team of Inland Fisheries Ireland are committed to this procedure and confirm that processes are in place to ensure the protection of reporting persons.


Important Definitions

The following workers are protected:

  • Employees or former employees
  • Trainees
  • People working under a contract for services
  • Independent contractors
  • Agency workers
  • People on work experience
  • Unpaid trainees
  • Board members
  • Shareholders
  • Volunteers
  • Job applicants

Relevant wrongdoings include:

  • Commission of criminal offences
  • Failure to comply with legal obligations
  • Breaches of certain European Union law
  • Endangering the health and safety of individuals
  • Damaging the environment
  • Miscarriage of justice
  • Misuse of public funds
  • Oppressive, discriminatory, grossly negligent or grossly mismanaged acts or omissions by a public body
  • Concealment or destruction of information about any of the above wrongdoing or any attempt to conceal or destroy such information

Work related context means 

current or past work activities in the public or private sector through which, irrespective of the nature of these activities, the reporting person acquires information concerning a relevant wrongdoing, and within which the reporting person could suffer penalisation for reporting the information.

What is a Protected Disclosure?

A Protected Disclosure:

  • Is a disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of a worker, tends to show one or more relevant wrongdoings, and
  • it came to the attention of the worker in a work-related context, and
  • it is disclosed in the manner prescribed in the Act

What is not a Protected Disclosure?

  • An interpersonal grievance or a complaint exclusively affecting a reporting person is not a relevant wrongdoing for the purposes of the Act

How to make a Protected Disclosure to Inland Fisheries Ireland

  • It is preferable that a protected disclosure be made in writing; however, it can be made verbally
  • While we accept anonymous protected disclosures, we may be restricted in our ability to investigate them. It should be noted that a reporting person cannot obtain redress under the Act without identifying themselves as part of the process of seeking redress

Protected disclosures may be made to Inland Fisheries Ireland by email, post, telephone, or via a physical meeting on request:

  • Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24CK66
  • Email:  indicating protected disclosure in the subject line
  • Phone: 01 8842600 – requesting to speak with the Designated Person for protected disclosures

What to provide in a Protected Disclosure

  • Confirmation that the disclosure is being made as a protected disclosure
  • Discloser’s name, position in the organisation, place of work and confidential contact details
  • Date of the alleged wrongdoing (if known) or the date the alleged wrongdoing commenced or was identified
  • Whether or not the alleged wrongdoing is still ongoing
  • Whether the alleged wrongdoing has already been disclosed and if so, to whom, when, and what action was taken
  • Information in respect of the alleged wrongdoing (what is occurring/has occurred)
  • Name of the person(s) allegedly involved in the alleged wrongdoing (if a name is known and the discloser considers that naming an individual is necessary to expose the wrongdoing disclosed); and
  • Any other information that the discloser believes relevant.


How your protected disclosure will be dealt with

  • We will acknowledge receipt of the protected disclosure within 7 days after receipt of it
  • Where the protected disclosure does not relate to a matter for which Inland Fisheries Ireland is prescribed, we will transmit the protected disclosure to the relevant prescribed person. We will inform you of this within 14 days
  • We will provide feedback to you on the steps taken or planned to be taken within three months, or six months in duly justified cases
  • We will communicate with you as regards the outcome of any investigation
  • While feedback will be provided, the need to maintain confidentiality may prevent us from providing specific details of the investigation and/or any actions taken and the outcome

Protection of Identity

Inland Fisheries Ireland is required by statute to protect the identity of the discloser and of any person referred to in the protected disclosure. All reasonable steps will be taken to protect the identity of a discloser and persons concerned and to ensure the disclosure is treated in confidence in line with the provisions of the Act. There are exceptions to this, as outlined in the Act. If a decision is taken which may identify the discloser, they will be informed that this may occur in advance, unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.

Records will be maintained in compliance with relevant confidentiality requirements. Any personal data collected will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018, Regulation (EU) 2016/679, Directive (EU) 2016/680 and Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

Protection from Penalisation

Workers are protected from penalisation or punishment as a result of making a protected disclosure. Further information on redress for employees is available on the Citizens Information Website.

Annual Report

Inland Fisheries Ireland publishes their Protected Disclosures Annual Report on its website. None of the information provided in the annual report of protected disclosures will be provided in a form that enables the identification of the persons involved.

Support Services

  • Independent and confidential advice is available through the 'Speak Up' helpline for anyone considering making a protected disclosure. The helpline can be accessed at 1800 844 866, Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, by email: or on their website
  • The Transparency Legal Advice Centre (TLAC) provides free legal advice to anyone who wants to disclose wrongdoing under the Act (as amended). This can be accessed through the Speak Up helpline.
  • Information on rights and entitlements under employment legislation can be obtained from the Workplace Relations Commission.