herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Garda detective who left his gun in hotel toilet will keep his job

AN ARMED garda detective will keep his job -- despite leaving a lethal pistol in a Dublin hotel toilet.

According to sources, the detective will not face further action for leaving the standard-issue Sig Sauer pistol in the bathroom of the five star Merrion Hotel.

The detective only realised he had misplaced his weapon 30 minutes after leaving the hotel with the high profile VIP he was protecting.

It is understood that the garda may face disciplinary sanctions but will not be sacked.

The detective was on duty while the VIP he was protecting dined in the Michelin star Patrick Guilbaud restaurant in Dublin's Merrion Hotel.

He removed his high-powered Sig Sauer pistol from around his waist to use the toilet and apparently left it behind.

There have been unconfirmed reports that a member of the public handed in the weapon before the detective returned to the hotel to reclaim it.

A chief superintendent has been appointed by new Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to investigate the incident.

Commissioner Callinan, who was appointed to the top post in the gardai in December, has ordered the high-level investigation into the lapse.



Responsible

Armed gardai are responsible for their own weapons and can face disciplinary action if they do not take proper care with their weapon.

Each detective is issued with a personal weapon that is normally stored at a secure location at the garda station but that may be taken home.

There is a list of safety guidelines in relation to weapons-handling for gardai.

Some ambassadors, senior diplomats and foreign dignitaries are given armed protection 24 hours a day during their time here.

Officers in the detective units carry guns, mostly the modern Sig Sauer P226 semi-automatic.

In January of last year a major investigation was launched after a Sig Sauer pistol was stolen from the home of a Special Branch detective in Dublin.

They launched a hunt for the burglars and the Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol which belongs to a member of the Garda Special Detective Unit.

The gun was locked in a safe at the officer's home.

The safe was recovered by gardai in north Dublin. It had been prised open using heavy cutters.

The gun has not been recovered.

cmurphy@herald.ie

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