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Internal garda probe examining young officer's relationship with convicted drug dealer nearing end

An incident in April of this year sparked the investigation.

Image: Leah Farrell

AN INTERNAL GARDA investigation examining the relationship between a convicted drug dealer and a newly attested garda in the east of the country is due to conclude in the coming weeks.

The garda has been under investigation since April of this year after his garda uniform and hat were stolen from his personal car after he attended a party at a convicted drug dealer’s home, TheJournal.ie reported at the time. It is now expected that he will be given a warning by his superiors. 

It has been alleged that the drug dealer and his friend took the garda’s personal car and went joyriding until they were stopped by two of the officers’ colleagues who had recognised his car. The driver was arrested for drink driving.

The garda awoke to realise his property was missing. He officially reported his car stolen and an investigation started. 

Gardaí tasked with investigating the incident have now turned their attention to the relationship the garda has with this convicted drug dealer. 

They are inquiring if the officer was friends with the man before joining the force or if the relationship has only developed since the man became a garda. 

Whilst the dealer only has relatively low-level sale or supply convictions, he has come to garda attention a significant number of times for other offences and is also suspected of still being involved in the drug trade in his home town.  

An Garda Síochána said it will not talk about ongoing internal investigations but sources familiar with the investigation have said the young officer, who is based in the Leinster region, may be given “the benefit of the doubt”. He is believed to have told his senior officers that he had “no idea” the man he was socialising with had criminal convictions.

He has also been given warnings not to socialise with the man in question and that he could bring the force into disrepute if he continues to do so. However, he has been reprimanded for breaking public health guidelines which at the time had warned against socialising with people from outside your household.

TheJournal.ie is aware of two similar investigations happening in the Leinster region
but it is understood they are not connected to this case.

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Gardaí, who were investigating the case in April, later discovered that a video had been shared on social media showing the arrested man and his friend conducting a so-called callout video. Both men are wearing garda hats and one of them is brandishing what appears to be the official garda ASP (baton).

A spokeswoman for An Garda Síochána said: “Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances of a number of connected incidents that occurred in [town named] on the 20 April 2020.

“An Garda Síochána does not comment on ongoing internal disciplinary investigations.”

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