herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

Garda inspector is cleared following corruption probe

'The senior officer was arrested in the Munster area in May along with a garda superintendent and a senior detective' (stock photo)
'The senior officer was arrested in the Munster area in May along with a garda superintendent and a senior detective' (stock photo)

A garda inspector who was arrested as a part of a major investigation into alleged garda corruption has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

The DPP made its decision after a file was submitted after the inspector was arrested and questioned about alleged breaches of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The senior officer was arrested in the Munster area in May along with a garda superintendent and a senior detective.

All three remain suspended from duty and an internal garda disciplinary process is ongoing into the trio, who have decades of experience between them.

The detective was charged at Limerick District Court in September and is facing trial over allegations he tipped off a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) target about its investigation in return for a bribe.

However, the inspector will not now face trial after the DPP's decision on his case.

Sources said his garda future remains "unclear" but many of his colleagues hope that he will be reinstated.

The investigation into the allegations against the Munster-based gardai is continuing.

Last October 4, detectives searched a garda station as part of their probe. It is understood the searches were focused on any contacts between the officers at the centre of the investigation and other gardai.

In July, a leading sportsman was arrested as part of the probe. The suspect, in his 50s, was questioned for a number of hours at Tipperary Town Garda Station before being released without charge.

Two men have already been charged in court as part of the investigation.

Detective Garda David Bourke (48), of Main Street, Oola, Co Limerick, was charged with "corruptly obtaining a monetary gift, consideration or advantage from Stephen O'Sullivan", a director of Bawn Motors, a car sales firm in Ballysimon Road, Limerick.

Gift

It is alleged that Det Gda Bourke obtained the gift for revealing to Mr O'Sullivan confidential information about a CAB investigation in relation to Bawn Motors.

Mr O'Sullivan (37), of Farrihy, Broadford, Co Limerick, was charged with one offence: that he corruptly gave or agreed to give Det Gda Bourke a monetary gift, consideration or advantage.

All charges are alleged to have happened on December 22, 2018, at Bruree, Co Limerick. Both accused were granted bail, on their own bonds of €300.

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