THE Garda Ombudsman is expected to publish a report in the coming weeks on dealings between gardaí and the Department of Transport over the issuing of a haulage licence to convicted drug dealer Kieran Boylan.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is believed to have made the decision because of mounting public concern and allegations of a cover-up, reflected by raising the matter in the Dáil yesterday on a number of occasions.
Sources told the Irish Examiner the report should be compiled “fairly quickly, in a matter of weeks”, depending on the speed of document delivery by transport officials and gardaí. The commission is “almost certainly” going to make the bulk of its findings public, the source said.
Boylan, of Drumcar, Dunleer, Louth, was granted a haulage licence despite being twice sentenced for drug dealing convictions and jailed for stealing a car in England.
On two occasions gardaí failed to pass on the full details of his record to the department when asked to vouch for his character.
Officially, the GSOC said it was only considering whether to conduct a separate examination into the haulage affair or include it within a much more complicated inquiry into the relationship between the alleged informant, Boylan, and gardaí.
“The commission is considering expediting that element of the investigation. It may be self-contained,” said a spokesman. “Regarding any form of report, it cannot compromise any potential criminal or disciplinary proceedings.”
Yesterday the matter was raised during priority questions to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern in leaders’ questions to Taoiseach Brian Cowen and in a separate debate last night.
Mr Ahern said he understood there would be an ombudsman report on the granting of a haulage licence separate to the inquiry into Garda handling of Boylan, who is an alleged informant.
Both are separate to the departmental inquiry Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has ordered.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the licence issued in September to Boylan, despite numerous “Good Repute” checks, contradicted national policy against drug crime. With respect to allegations of a Garda cover-up, he said, given the information in the public domain Mr Dempsey should revoke Boylan’s licence.
The Taoiseach said it would be inappropriate for him to make comments that compromised the investigations.
During last night’s debate Labour’s Joe Costello said that irrespective of the eventual findings, the licence that Boylan uses to operate Alan International for his base in Louth should be withdrawn for a period.
“Pending the outcome of a thorough review and inquiry he should immediately revoke the international haulage licence on the clear prima facie grounds of gross criminality by the applicant,” he said.
His party colleague Pat Rabbitte said given Boylan’s two convictions for drug smuggling, he now had “a licence to import death”.
Last year the State controversially dropped charges arising from the discovery €1.7m worth of drugs in his yard.
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