Northern Ireland

Irish ombudsman to examine celebrity drugs claims

rte

The Irish police Ombudsman Commission has said it is considering allegations that gardai (Irish police) turned a blind eye to drug abuse and protected public figures with drug habits such as the late broadcaster, Gerry Ryan.

The Garda Commissioner has ordered an investigation into the matter.

The Sunday Independent published the allegations over the weekend.

Irish public broadcaster RTE has rejected any suggestion it tolerated drug abuse.

RTE said its security had discovered nothing unusual in regards drugs in RTE.

It said that whatever level of drug abuse Mr Ryan may have undertaken, he has paid the highest price.

Detectives are seeking to interview the Sunday Independent journalist Jim Cusack and editor Aengus Fanning.

The article claimed that there was a drug dealer to the stars protected by corrupt police.

The newspaper said that officers who tried to arrest the dealer were warned off and that retired police officers who mingled with the celebrities accused of using drugs, maintained lifestyles beyond their official salaries.

Police said the allegations are based on anonymous sources with no apparent grounding in fact.

The Ombudsman said the journalist and editor can bring evidence to its office and it could also carry out a public interest investigation.

Mr Cusack and the Sunday Independent have refused to comment on the issue.