Forensic Science Ireland

Science Supporting Justice

Forensic Science Ireland is an associated office of the Department of Justice. The people working at FSI are mainly trained scientists and analysts supported by administration staff and number over two hundred. We work together to deliver to best international standards, independent expert opinion, advice, training and research to support the Irish Criminal Justice system.

Our Remit

Originally known as the Forensic Science Laboratory, FSI was established in 1975 to provide a scientific service to the Criminal Justice System by analysing samples submitted from crime scenes and providing expert evidence in criminal trials. Forty years later some of the original staff are now leading today’s FSI team as we embrace the ever increasing advances in forensic science and continue to fulfil that remit. In June 2014 President Higgins extended our scope when he signed into law the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014. It named us as the custodian of that database and changed our name from Forensic Science Laboratory to FSI.

Our Role

In addition to our role within the Irish justice system we have also always been conscious of our responsibility to contribute to the global knowledge base. So, while the FSI is very much a working service laboratory, our staff are encouraged to contribute to scientific conferences and publish their work.

FSI was also a founding member of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) in 1995. Our members are active on all the relevant ENFSI working groups and in recent years have contributed to some of the EU funded ENFSI Monopoly projects. ENFSI was granted Monopoly funding status by the EU in 2009 and they have used this funding to address best practice issues across the discipline of forensic science.

FSI is accredited according to ISO17025 and holds an Excellence through People certificate. In 2012 the laboratory received the Taoiseach’s award for the project “From Complaints to Compliments” in the Drugs area. In 2013 and 2014, the laboratory was awarded Calibration or Testing Laboratory of the Year by the Irish Laboratory Awards.

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