Eight gardaí suspended as part of corruption investigation

Move comes after lengthy inquiry by team of officers at Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the eight members were suspended earlier on Saturday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the eight members were suspended earlier on Saturday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Eight gardaí have been suspended as part of a major Garda investigation into corruption in public office in the Munster region.

A Garda spokesman confirmed the garda members were suspended earlier on Saturday, as a result of an ongoing investigation, which is being led by an Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations (SCO).

The suspensions come after lengthy enquiries by a team of officers attached to the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI). It was the largest number of gardaí ever suspended at once.

The investigation is focused on claims that gardaí did not pursue Garda enquiries into alleged road traffic offences and public order allegations against a number of parties.

“Further to an ongoing investigation led by the Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations (SCO), involving personnel attached to the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI), eight members of An Garda Síochána have been suspended,” a Garda spokesman said.

“This element of the investigation is focused on corruption in public office.”

“As this is an ongoing investigation, An Garda Síochána will not be commenting on the rank or the location of the members of An Garda Síochána who have been suspended,” the spokesman added.

A number of Garda stations have been searched as part of the inquiry.

According to sources, some gardaí have been informally interviewed by investigators and have claimed they were directed to abandon prosecutions.

A number of gardaí have made voluntary statements.

Three other gardaí had previously been suspended as part of the same investigation, bringing the total number of suspensions to eleven.

NBCI detectives are examining why the gardaí in question allegedly cancelled fixed charge penalty notices against certain individuals, including members of a local GAA club.

Last year a superintendent was arrested and interviewed on suspicion of cancelling dozens of fixed charge penalty notices while, as part of the same investigation, an inspector was arrested for drug offences.

The member of garda rank was also questioned about an alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The alleged offending came to light during a wider investigation into alleged Garda corruption in the Munster region. This investigation is continuing and has already led to a number of gardaí being arrested and questioned on suspicion of serious corruption offences.