Investigation call into alleged drug dealer-Garda link

THE Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is expected to come under pressure to set up a special investigation into alleged links between a convicted drug dealer and members of the gardaí.

The commission yesterday said it would consider any submissions requesting it to set up a “public interest inquiry” following the sudden collapse of a case against Louth man Kieran Boylan, who was charged with trafficking heroin and cocaine worth €1.7 million.

A spokesman confirmed it was investigating a specific complaint, which, it is

understood, is related to Mr Boylan and his alleged links with members of the gardaí.

A couple from Co Louth claimed their lives were threatened in July 2004 after they informed gardaí about a drugs haul allegedly involving Mr Boylan.

The couple claimed they were threatened and that the assailant had said to them that he knew they had called gardaí. While the commission investigation is focused on this specific complaint the organisation is thought to be aware of the issue’s wider context, including the collapse of the case against Mr Boylan.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday the case against Mr Boylan was withdrawn after he threatened to reveal details of his alleged involvement with gardaí if his prosecution proceeded.

Mr Boylan was arrested by the Garda National Drugs Unit at Ardee on October 6, 2005.

The Sunday Times reported Mr Boylan told arresting gardaí he was working for the force. In June 2006, charges in relation to the Ardee haul were struck out, leading to some public concern. Mr Boylan was charged again in April 2007 and, in January, his trial was set for January of 2009.

A commission spokesman said its investigation is under Section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, under which the commission’s own staff conduct an investigation, as opposed to referring it back to the gardaí themselves.

This is normally done in situations where any findings against a garda under investigation would be of such seriousness that it could constitute a possible criminal offence.

Sinn Féin and Louth TD Arthur Morgan yesterday said he would be “definitely” writing to the commission. “I will be calling on [the commission] to pursue a public interest inquiry. It probably would be the most efficient way.”

He said he would also write to fellow Louth deputy Justice Minister Dermot Ahern to ask him if he was satisfied with the situation.

The commission is conducting one other public interest inquiry, into the circumstances surrounding the death of Terence Wheelock in Garda custody.

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