THE law supposed to stop a convicted drug smuggler from getting a road haulage licence was not clear enough to keep him from setting up a new importation business.
This is according to a preliminary report presented to Transport Minister Noel Dempsey on the international haulage licence awarded to drug smuggler and alleged Garda super-grass Kieran Boylan.
New information on Boylan’s case also prompted Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to make the unusual step of contacting the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).
This was because of the alleged links between the drug trafficker and gardaí.
Mr Dempsey also ordered a more detailed inquiry into the Boylan case after a five-year licence to establish Alan International haulage in Drumcar, Dunleer, Co Louth, was sanctioned in 2008.
The minister said an initial report found the legal position — supposed to stop people without good character from operating haulage companies — was unclear.
And he asked the Attorney General Paul Gallagher to advise him on how Boylan’s licence may be revoked. “I have asked for a full report, I have got a preliminary report and I will be referring the matter to the Attorney General’s Office to review the file and review the decision.
“The preliminary report indicates that perhaps the law is not as clear as it should be.
“There was an [administrative] judgment call made at the end. I am not happy it was the right decision,” the minister said. When gardaí raided Boylan’s old trucking yard in Ardee in 2005 they found €1.7 million worth of drugs.
He was charged, but these charges were mysteriously dropped on the final day of last summer’s court term. In 2005 he pleaded guilty to other trafficking charges eight years after receiving a similar conviction in Britain.
The Garda Ombudsman has since been called in to investigate claims of a cover-up and allegations the case was dropped to protect gardaí based in Dublin with whom Boylan was allegedly involved.
Boylan was contacted yesterday, but his phone went dead when told the nature of the inquiry.
The opposition said the latest revelations in the Sunday Times regarding Boylan and his alleged links to gardaí gave further credence to claims of a cover-up. Fine Gael justice spokesman Charles Flanagan said the licence should be revoked and an urgent inquiry conducted into how Boylan’s haulage application was handled by the Department of Transport.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved