Jailed ex-garda John Murphy at centre of investigation into leaks to Hutch gang

Former garda superintendent jailed for six and a half years on Tuesday on drug charges

Former garda superintendent John Murphy, who was jailed for 6½ years on Tuesday on drug charges, is at the centre of an investigation into allegations that information held by the force was supplied to the Hutch criminal gang.

The investigation into allegations of confidential information on Garda operations and inquiries being leaked to the gang is being carried out by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

As well as Murphy being under suspicion by investigators, two serving Garda members were also suspended last year as part of the same inquiry. Murphy would have come into contact with some members of the Hutch group during his time on the force in Dublin.

Officers investigating the alleged leaks searched five properties in Dublin, including Murphy’s home in Clontarf where cannabis valued at €260,000 was found, in September of last year.


Drug offences

When Murphy was arrested, he could not be named for legal reasons, though Garda Headquarters said a man had been arrested “on suspicion of involvement in offences… relating to allegedly enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence”.

When Murphy was charged with the drug offences he has now been convicted and sentenced over, the media could not link him to the NBCI investigation into alleged leaks to the Hutch gang. However, with his sentencing, those restrictions no longer apply.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the 62 year old had built up financial debts of €855,000 due to poor business decisions made in the 10 years after he retired from the force.

‘Clouded’ judgment

Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, said that Murphy had “whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is” and that any investments he made “went down the drain”.

Mr O’Higgins added that Murphy was consuming large amounts of alcohol every day “for as long as anyone could remember” and was a functioning alcoholic. He said his drinking had “clouded his judgment and brought him to this sorry pass”.

Sentencing the former superintendent, Judge Martin Nolan said Murphy was holding the drugs for some type of financial reward in order to alleviate his debts but that “he should have known better”.

Murphy came forward to the Circuit Court on signed guilty pleas entered at Dublin District Court to an offence of possession for sale or supply at his home on September 29th, 2021.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times