Europe

File sent to Irish DPP after drug dealer's charges dropped

A file has been sent to the director of Public Prosecutions about a convicted drug dealer, who was also a police informer, after charges were dropped against him.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission took the decision after examining the relationship between Kieran Boylan and members of the force.

The charges were dropped in 2008.

The DPP will decide whether to bring criminal charges against members of the force.

It has been given a 600 page file by the police complaints body.

The decision to refer the case to the DPP suggests that the Ombudsman Commission has serious concerns about whether Boylan was allowed to continue his drug-dealing activity in return for supplying information to detectives.

It also raises questions about whether convictions based on information he supplied might be rendered unsafe by the courts.

Kieran Boylan faced six charges in connection with the seizure of 1.7m euros worth of cocaine and heroin at a transport yard in County Louth in October 2005.

He was on bail at the time after he had been caught with 700,000 euros worth of cocaine and heroin in Dublin and Louth for which he was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.

But on the last day of the court sittings in July 2008, the 2005 drugs charges against Boylan were dropped without explanation.

The Ombudsman Commission's inquiry, the longest investigation it has carried out to date, wants to know why those charges were dropped.

It is understood it is also focussing on:

  • The nature of Boylan's relationship with detectives
  • If he was acting as an informant for the police, registered or not
  • Whether any police officer knew he was dealing drugs while acting as an informant
  • If he supplied drugs to other drug dealers and then gave information about those drugs to the police
  • Whether or not a conviction secured on the basis of such information is now unsafe

The Ombudsman Commission has indicated there have been ongoing issues during the four-year investigation between it and the Garda Siochana in relation to the sharing of information, but would not comment on any specific case.

But, twice in the past month, the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has denied any lack of co-operation.

The ombudsman also examined alleged threats against a Louth couple after they reported, in confidence to police; allegations that police knew Boylan had a mobile phone in prison, which is against the law; and how Boylan managed to secure an international road haulage operators licence even though he was a convicted drug dealer.

The Ombudsman Commission was unavailable for comment on the case.

The issue of running informers has always been a tricky one for police forces around the world.

There is often a suspicion that some informers are allowed to continue their illegal activities provided they continue to supply information that can lead to others being convicted and thereby boost the career prospects and promotional opportunities of those detectives to whom they give information.