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Chief Superintendent appointed to set up new garda anti-corruption unit

The Garda Commissioner has said the organisation wants to show it is serious about making sure corruption is stamped out.

Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary, who was previously assigned to the Westmeath division, has been assigned responsibility for the unit.
Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary, who was previously assigned to the Westmeath division, has been assigned responsibility for the unit.
Image: Garda Press Office

A CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT has been appointed to set up the new garda anti-corruption unit, which is to be established by the end of this year.

Chief Superintendent Johanna O’Leary, who was previously assigned to the Westmeath division, has been assigned responsibility for the unit, An Garda Síochána confirmed today.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said the new unit will investigate allegations around drug use, the flow of information outside of the organisation and inappropriate associations with criminals. He said the organisation is serious about ensuring any corruption is “stamped out”. 

“As an organisation we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce,” he said in May.

Chief Superintendent O’Leary will have responsibility for the establishment of the unit, including the development of policies, procedures and legislative provisions and will report to the Assistant Commissioner for governance and accountability.

In May three members of An Garda Síochána were arrested as part of a corruption probe. 

A superintendent was arrested on suspicion of breaching legislation which relates to passing on information obtained in the course of garda duties.

An inspector was questioned over suspected breaches of the Misuse of Drugs Act, while a ranking garda was arrested under suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

The arrests were part of a wider investigation of a Munster-based crime gang. This investigation is ongoing. 

The Garda Inspectorate also recently launched an inspection of counter corruption practices within An Garda Síochána. The examination is focusing on the effectiveness of the organisation at preventing, detecting and mitigating against internal corruption.

As part of the review, the inspectorate will examine vetting in selection processes and supervision and will assess the force’s capability to investigate corruption in terms of confidential disclosures, intelligence and information sharing.

It will also look at substance testing, transparent decision-making and the maintenance of professional boundaries.

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