Commissioner denies obstructing inquiry

Tue, Nov 13, 2012, 00:00

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has insisted that he and members of his force have given full assistance to a four-year investigation into alleged Garda corruption around the contentious use of a convicted drug dealer as an informant.

He was responding to allegations in a Sunday newspaper that senior Garda management had blocked and obstructed the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation.

The complaints body is investigating the relationship between some gardaí and Louth drug dealer Kieran Boylan, who supplied gardaí with information about other criminals, and against whom serious drugs charges were dropped.

The report at the weekend alleged that the commissioner had personally made representations to the DPP on the case that may be called into question.

“I was quite surprised when I saw the report, given the level of co-operation there has been between the two bodies,” he said.

“I have co-operated fully and facilitated fully all of the inquiries that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission have requested. It would be unwise to go beyond that given that the report will be available in a number of weeks.”

While accepting the investigation had taken four years, Mr Callinan said the delay was not attributable to any effort by the Garda to frustrate the GSOC’s work.

Safety of convictions

He said it was not yet clear if Gsoc would send files to the DPP for consideration relating to the safety or otherwise of convictions already secured on the basis of information supplied by Boylan to gardaí.

If he was not registered as an informant as per post-Morris tribunal regulations, question marks may hang over convictions his information helped to secure.

“We’ll await that outcome and see what happens,” the commissioner said at a bravery medals presentation at the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary.

In 2008 the State entered a nolle prosequi in the case against Boylan (42), from Rockfield Park, Ardee, Co Louth.

The dropped charges related to the seizure of €1.7 million of cocaine and heroin in October 2005. It has been alleged that Boylan told arresting gardaí he was working for members of the force.

The inquiry has examined whether Boylan’s contact with gardaí was linked to the charges against him being dropped.