Ten things you need to know about GSOC, Alan Shatter and the Gardaí. Oireachtas Retort provides the skinny.
1) In 1997 Kieran Boylan was sentenced to serve more than seven years for the possession of cannabis in England. In 2001 Boylan was convicted of theft and dangerous driving.
2) In 2003 Boylan obtained an international haulage license from the Dept of Transport after Gardaí provided information which suggested that he had no previous convictions.
3) GSOC launched an inquiry into Boylan in 2008 after the Sunday Times revealed that he had escaped prosecution despite being caught with heroin and cocaine worth 1.8 million in 2005. At the time he was on bail for an earlier one million euro drugs haul.
4) In custody, Boylan alluded to his involvement in entrapment operations and threatened to reveal all if charged.
5) GSOC took four years to complete its report citing determined obstruction by Garda management.
The Ombudsman’s investigation into why those charges were dropped has also examined:
- – The nature of Boylan’s relationship with the gardaí
- – If he was acting as an informant for gardaí, registered or not
- – Whether any gardaí knew he was dealing drugs while acting as an informant
- – If he supplied drugs to dealers and gave information about those drugs to gardaí
- – Whether or not a conviction secured on the basis of such information is now unsafe
6) In November 2012 Alan Shatter altered a ban on gardai serving beyond the age of 60 to allow Commissioner Martin Callinan to remain at the top until August 2015, two years more than expected.
7) GSOC’s 600 page report was sent to the DPP just two weeks later.
The report is believed to be critical of Martin Callinan and to have questioned the reliability of information provided by the force to the DPP’s office after Boylan’s arrest. Senior gardaí are said to have made representations to the DPP about the case before the decision to drop charges against Boylan at a court hearing in July 2008.
8) Martin Callinan, and his predecessor, Fachtna Murphy, carried out three internal investigations into Boylan’s connections with Gardai but found that there was no wrong doing involved.
9) Officers implicated in the collusion affair were promoted while the GSOC investigation was ongoing.
Callinan was their supervisor at the relevant times.
10) In May 2013 the DPP announced it will take no action on the GSOC investigation.
Among all this we have seen intimidation of whistleblowers by both gardaí and government, intimidation of journalists – including the Irish Independent’s dismal of Gemma O’Doherty and intimidation of elected representatives – selective leaks, press lead smear campaigns and the handcuffing of Clare Daly at the side of the road.
Who is wondering why GSOC did not approach the Minister?
Who is watching the detectives?