Report: Garda wore firearm while paid to coach rugby

The Garda Ombudsman is investigating a complaint that an armed detective frequently worked as a paid coach for a rugby club while on duty.

Report: Garda wore firearm while paid to coach rugby

The complaint, which was lodged by a civilian, involves a detective with a national unit who has allegedly turned up for training and matches in an unmarked Garda car, while indicating that he was on duty at the time.

This, according to the complaint, has been ongoing for nearly two years, although specific allegations provided to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission relate to the past two months.

It is also alleged that the detective used to carry his standard issue firearm at training in a manner that made little attempt to conceal the weapon.

The complainant has suggested that this behaviour was designed to provide a “whiff of cordite” to the detective turned coach in front of the youth and young adult players.

The complaint also alleges that on one occasion the detective had to leave training or matches at very short notice, and was once actually picked up from the ground by a squad car.

The club involved in the case is in Leinster, and the detective lives outside the greater Dublin area.

According to the complainant, it would have been difficult for the detective to continue operating as he did without his supervisor being aware of it.

“He couldn’t have done that without his immediate supervisor knowing,” the complainant, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Irish Examiner.

GSOC has been supplied with photographs, videos, and vehicle registration numbers as documentary evidence in support of the complaint.

The detective in question is understood to be paid for his services by the club, although the value of such payment is not believed to exceed around €5,000 per annum.

The Irish Examiner understands that the latest incident in which the detective is alleged to have been on duty while training dates from last week, when he turned up in an unmarked car with his firearm, but had to leave suddenly during the training session.

The incident was recorded by the complainant.

It is also understood that senior figures in the club have been made aware of the situation, but no action has been taken as of yet.

A spokeswoman for GSOC said that it is the commisison’s policy never to comment on individual cases.

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