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Garda inspector released while two other gardaí remain in custody following arrests this morning

It’s understood this morning’s operation is connected to a wider investigation of a Munster-based crime gang.

Image: Brian Lawless

Updated May 16th 2019, 9:01 PM

A GARDA INSPECTOR who was arrested with a garda superintendent and a ranking member this morning has been released without charge.

The three were arrested following raids on a number of premises, and were questioned on suspicion of being involved in “the commission of one or more criminal offences”, An Garda Síochána said.

The offences relate to alleged inappropriate association with a well-known criminal gang in Munster.

The inspector was questioned over suspected breaches of the Misuse of Drugs Act, but gardaí revealed he has been released without charge this evening.

In a statement, gardaí said the inspector has been suspended from duty and that a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The superintendent and ranking garda have had their periods of detention extended and remain in custody this evening.

The superintendent is being investigated on suspicion of breaching legislation which relates to passing on information obtained in the course of garda duties.

The ranking garda is being investigated under suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) took part in the raids and the operation was led by the Assistant Commissioner of Special Crime Operations.

It’s understood this morning’s operation was connected to a wider investigation of the Munster-based crime gang and its connections with serving members of An Garda Síochána.

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said in a statement: “An Garda Síochána is fully committed to investigating any alleged wrongdoing or corruption involving Garda personnel, and will work with other relevant agencies in doing so. As this is a live and ongoing investigation, it is not appropriate to make any further comment at this time.”

Following the arrests this morning, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said:

While I obviously can’t comment on individual cases, I expect a thorough and timely investigation.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told reporters he has yet to receive a briefing from the minister on the arrests but described them a “serious development”.

- With reporting by Garreth MacNamee, Michelle Hennessy and Daragh Brophy 

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