Garda anti-corruption unit receives complaint about infiltration by organised crime

Garda Anti-Corruption Unit Receives Complaint About Infiltration By Organised Crime Garda Anti-Corruption Unit Receives Complaint About Infiltration By Organised Crime
Assistant Commissioner Pat Clavin with Chief Supt Johanna O'Leary, head of the Garda Anti-Corruption Unit, during a briefing at Kevin Street Garda station, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
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Complaints to a new Garda anti-corruption unit have included allegations of drug-taking among force members and at least one suggestion of infiltration of gardaí by an organised crime group.

Random mandatory drug testing for all force members is to be introduced within six months.

Such drug testing may be carried out at a Garda’s home where sufficient suspicion of inappropriate behaviours exists, Assistant Commissioner Pat Clavin, to whom the unit will report, told the launch.

Regarding the complaints received by the unit thus far, its lead officer Chief Supt Johanna O’Leary acknowledged there have been “a small number of complaints to date”.

“There are some around drug-taking, there might be infiltration from organised crime groups,” she said.

When asked if it was investigating the infiltration of the force by organised criminals, Chief Supt O’Leary said: “Not as such, but a complaint around that.”

The unit, plans for which were announced by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris two years ago, on Tuesday outlined its official policies in two areas – drug use by gardaí and “professional boundaries and abuse of power for sexual gain”.

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These are effectively the areas the unit, which started operating in November, has decided to examine first, with more policies due to be announced soon.

Assistant Commissioner Pat Clavin said he believed there was support within the Garda ranks for steps being taken to address drug taking or improper relationships involving members.

“There’s no place in our organisation for people who take advantage of vulnerable victims, and in that sense, who victimise a victim for a second time,” he said.

Other policies being developed by the unit centre on possible conflicts of interest Garda members may have, and business interests or secondary occupations that gardaí might be involved in.

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