Fresh accusations of garda malpractice - including that officers directed informants to carry out robberies - have been made in the Dáil, writes Elaine Loughlin of the Irish Examiner.
During a debate on the O’Higgins report, Sligo/Leitrim TD Martin Kenny this afternoon outlined seperate allegations of malpractice in his own constituency including the claim that gardaí engaged active criminals as informants.
The Sinn Féin TD also claimed gardaí in Leitrim used "informants, or criminals they have control over, to setup and entrap people for crimes and then prosecute these people”.
Mr Kenny said: “There is an allegation that a garda informant, working under the direction of two gardaí, robbed tools and a generator from a builder’s shed and then sold the generator to a man whose house was searched the next day and the stolen property recovered.
“The man was subsequently charged and convicted in relation to having stolen property,” he said.
Detailing a number of other instances, Mr Kenny said two gardaí reported concerns around the handling of intelligence sources to then commissioner Martin Callinan in 2009, but they were "fobbed off".
Pointing out that the “the vast majority of guards are doing their job honestly and diligently” Mr Kenny said he had first been made aware of the allegations of garda malpractice in Leitrim when two whistle-blowers approached him in 2014.
He added that some of the information related personally to him and his family.
“A man who claims to have been a Garda informant told me that he had been asked by certain named gardaí to carry out a robbery at my house.
“The informant claims he did not carry out the robbery. However, my house was broken into in March 2007 and items of value were stolen. I was an elected member of Leitrim county council at that time.
“While these incidents are several years old, I have also been contacted in the past few months by other serving gardaí who have also made allegations of malpractice in the Leitrim district,” he said.
Mr Kenny said: "Now if true, the conclusion of these allegations is that a small cohort within the Gardaí in Leitrim have considered criminal activity as an opportunity for their own advancement, and at times have manipulated situations for their own advancement."