‘The Plot Thickens Around The Garda Involvement In The Heroin Trade In Athlone’

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Yesterday.

The new Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland met for the first time.

At a media briefing, when asked about calls for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to stand down, head of the commission Kathleen O’Toole – who was on the panel which appointed Ms O’Sullivan to Garda Commissioner in 2014 – said:

I don’t think it would make a difference whether it was Nóirín O’Sullivan or someone else. I think this management team inherited a poison chalice. And I think we need to get beyond the finger-pointing and the name-calling. We want to look to the future.”

Further to this…

During Leaders’ Questions, taken by Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace spoke about Ms O’Toole’s comments and, later, revisited the protected disclosure made by whistleblower Garda Nick Keogh.

Readers will recall how Garda Keogh, in May 2014, as a member of the drugs squad in Athlone, made a formal complaint to the then confidential recipient Judge Pat McMahon about a garda in the drugs squad and their alleged involvement in the supply of heroin in Westmeath, Offaly and Longford.

Garda Keogh also claimed a State mobile phone was supplied by a senior garda to a suspended garda whom Garda Keogh alleged had links to the drugs trade in Co Westmeath.

In November 2014, Mr Wallace told the Dail that since Garda Keogh had made his complaint, he had been subjected to constant harassment by senior management, manufactured complaints were made against him, and his activities were monitored. In December 2015, Garda Keogh went on sick leave.

In 2016, John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reported that an internal investigation found evidence to substantiate “many” of Garda Keogh’s claims.

However, Garda Keogh still has to see any report of this investigation and it’s understood none has been published.

In addition, Mr Mooney reported that the DPP told Garda Headquarters that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute those implicated, but that a senior garda and a drugs squad garda in Athlone would face disciplinary proceedings.

Readers may also recall how, in January of this year, GSOC requested to oversee the disciplinary investigation of the two gardai but Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan refused GSOC’s request.

From today’s Leaders’ Questions…

Mick Wallace: “Tánaiste, yesterday Kathleen O’Toole confirmed the suspicion of many, that the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland is a fig leaf to divert attention away from the crises in Garda management. She said that their task is not to scrutinise the performance of individuals and that Garda management inherited a poison chalice. What she forgot to tell us is that the present commissioner was part of the poison when she got the job in 2014. Why did they appoint someone that was part of the problem?”

“Head of GSOC [Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission] Mary Ellen Ring said last week, I would have thought you could have this commission done and dusted by December the 1st, if they just sat down and read the [Garda] Inspectorate’s reports and that there was no guarantee that the report delivered by the Commission on the Future of Policing in September 2018 would be acted upon.”

“As the head of the Garda Inspectorate Robert Olsen, previous reforms identified had not been implemented. No one, he said, had made the change happen. In the last few weeks, things have got so bad at Garda Headquarters that a decision was made to grant a barrister and junior counsel to both the Commissioner and her most senior Assistant Commissioner, at the expense of the State. They can’t even be in the same room without being lawyered up.”

As a result of the failure to resolve issues around the complaints made by the same Assistant Commissioner, including interference in the interview process for the Commissioner’s job back in 2014. Despite the expenditure of tens of thousands in consultancy payments to a company to investigate the issue – a job that was never tendered.”

“Interestingly, that same interview panel that trawled the world before deciding that Noirin O’Sullivan was the best person to replace Martin Callinan, involved not only Josephine Feehily, who in her role as head of the Policing Authority has failed to recommend the removal of the Commissioner; Kathleen O’Toole, who yesterday indicated that she wanted to take the heat off Noirin; but also Vivienne Jupp, a former executive of global management consultancy Accenture, a company which benefited from multi-million euro contracts with An Garda Siochana.”

“Vivienne Jupp was also instrumental in establishing Cyril Dunne as Chief Administrative Officer inside An Garda Siochana who was among the first to be made aware of the Templemore scandal.

“Yesterday, the outgoing Taoiseach said if a minister were in charge of a calamity, like that in the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement, they’d be immediately sacked. Tanaiste, you might find yourself heading up a different department in a few weeks time, the present commissioner has given more than enough proof that she is not the person to bring An Garda Siochana forward.”

“Minister, Tanaiste, this might be your last few weeks in justice, would you not consider doing what needs to be done in the best interests of An Garda Siochana because the legislation allows for you to remove the commissioner when it is in the best interests of An Garda Siochana and it certainly would be.”

Later

“The house that is known as An Garda Siochana is falling down around her ears. While scandals, which can only be described as white collar crime continue to escalate around Templemore, at the other end of the scale, the plot thickens around the Garda involvement in the heroin trade in Athlone.

On the 19th of May, 2017, presiding Circuit Court judge Keelan Johnson expressed his displeasure, annoyance and frustration at being seriously misled by a garda. The judge outlined, in public, in open court, that, on the 7th of June, 2016, while sentencing a woman on drug offences, committed on the 2nd of June, 2015, a garda purposefully, and deliberately misled him and the court.”

The same drugs operation, for which other gardai have been found to have had an involvement in, as a result of the protected disclosure of Garda Nick Keogh three years ago, yet, nobody’s been arrested, nobody’s been charged, three years later. Why? Because some of Noirin’s inner circle are being protected.”

Previously: A Breathtaking Timeline

10 thoughts on “‘The Plot Thickens Around The Garda Involvement In The Heroin Trade In Athlone’

  1. Rip Rippendale

    Jeebus!!!! It seems odd that Paul Williams hasn’t done a TV3 documentary about this. :)

      1. Contraflow

        Paulie would never write anything that negatively impacts the Guards. He might jeopardise his contacts otherwise. How will he get the scuttlebutt on the underworld then. Seems some of his Garda mates are every bit as bad as the comic book bad guys he has made his career writing about.

  2. Peter Dempsey

    Athlone: The Truth

    “I lived in Athlone for four years, worst four years in my life

    The places is full of settled travellers and small farmers who lost their farms and a new cross breed of travellers and farmers, the perfect mix of scum and redneck, that commonly have addictions to the heroin the army brings through the barracks from the Lebanon on the sly. Athlone has a raging smack problem, but is a totally landlocked town, so nobody could understand how such huge amounts of smack was getting into this small provincial town… why go to the trouble of bringing it from Dublin, Cork or Galway to some midlands dive when you could sell it in these big coastal city, this was along the lines of the general thinking on the matter.

    Turns out some soldiers coming back from the Lebanon were loading the tanks full of Heroin, at this time Athlone was where everything coming and going from the Leb was cleared. Rise in smack problem Q.E.D.

    The culture shock, especially from somewhere civil like Dublin, is intense. The place was bloody feral back in the 90s.

    One year Scheer and Watercress came to Athlone RTC… it was poorly attended so for the next three years of my time there they had Abbaesque on instead…

    *mimes slashing wrists*

    And you have that lovely country thing of the locals hating students EVEN THOUGH the students are one of the few things bringing money into the town.

    Of a friday, in Athlone, around 9pm you would hear for miles around the trundle of taxis coming from every farm house and tin roofed shack in the surrounding counties… all heading for “BOZO’S” night club in Athlone.

    Where once in side all the men, identically dressed in blue jeans and white blue check shirts with the back of the collar flicked up (why?!?), they would savage an unholy feed of booze, molest women in the most base manners, savage more booze, puke on each other, puke on everyone else (it’s amazing how socially accepted vomit is in Athlone), then all the ones who weren’t off to sexually assault some poor lass down a side street, would head up to Supermacs to beat several shades of sh*t out of anyone who looked liked they deserved it.

    I assure everyone these boys were all country stock true and true. Best friends would paste each other into the pavement using their fists. But by the next week it’d all be forgotten.

    Granted most of these sorts generally move to Dublin for college, go to DCU, TCD or UCD or somewhere sh*te like that, doss around on the grant, and generally become the sort of assholes who ring up looking for last months invoice, or the sort of schmucks the bank sends you too when you havn’t paid you student loan in a year or two. This would point to while older pubs in the country are superior, supposidly cause all the ass holes have moved to Lucan and are trying to outdo each other with gimicky kitchens and spoiled children.

    I lived with a country fella down in Athlone who used to cook two dinners when he was cooking, he’d lay both dinners out on two plates, just as if he was serving to people… then he would eat one and put the other one in his press (not the fridge.. the press) where it remain till dinner time the next day when he’d pull it out bing it in the microwave and tuck in.

    I liked living in the country…. however Athlone was the most depressing place on earth, constantly grey of sky and suspicous of odour. But no matter how mental you thought you were going or how drunkly stoned and depraved your life was becoming you only had to have a quick look aorund you and realise that most folk there were a BILLION times worse off then you!

    I firmly believe Athlone was built on some bad energy line or something, or a Indian burial ground, or the very gateway to the pit of hell itself.

    The whole town needs to be nuked from orbit.”

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      Are you saying Athlone is to blame for the on going carry on of our self serving and slyly corrupt disorganisation of fupp clumps we call the Garda Siochana?
      Or did you just decide to launch into a an irrelevant rough guide on the place, because you were triggered by the mere mention of Athlone?

    2. Trouble

      Perfect mix of scum and redneck? How delightful. “Granted most of these sorts generally move to Dublin for college, go to DCU, TCD or UCD or somewhere sh*te like that” as opposed to the apparent paradise of AIT? Bitter much?

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