herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Love/Hate garda faces suspension from force after ultimatum

THE detective who starred in Love/Hate has been threatened with suspension from the force after he refused an order to seek a transfer.

Two days before the last episode of the crime drama aired on RTE, Det Gda Kieran O'Reilly was given an ultimatum by senior management to request a transfer from his unit or else he would be suspended and have to hand in his gun and badge.

The 35-year-old married father-of-two had not requested a transfer by last week's deadline and the threat of suspension still hangs over him as the stand-off continues.

Friends of the detective, whose wife is also a garda member, say he is "extremely upset" and fears he is now "going to be buried" by management.

Det O'Reilly, who played undercover cop Ciaran Madden in the show (above), auditioned for the part on a whim. is a young man with a young family and if he were suspended it would cause serious financial difficulties for him and his wife," a friend told the Herald last night.

"But he is particularly hurt that he is going to be punished for something that does not breach any disciplinary guidelines.

"He auditioned for a part on a whim and couldn't believe that he got it."

He has since sought legal advice and did not request a transfer by last week's deadline – which was issued to him by senior gardai.

Det O'Reilly, a respected member of the Garda National Drugs Unit, was given the verbal order two days before the season finale was broadcast.

The 35-year-old officer, who worked as a real-life undercover officer for six years, was informed on November 8 he faces suspension if he didn't apply for a transfer to a different unit.

Senior officers gave the married father of two until 5.30 pm on Monday last and told him he would be handing in his badge and gun if he didn't comply. The Herald has learnt that Detective O'Reilly, who played undercover cop Ciaran Madden in the hit show, refused to seek the transfer after receiving legal advice.

Transfer

However, yesterday it emerged that Garda HQ are still planning to transfer O'Reilly out of the GNDU despite the fact that he was not in breach of any disciplinary regulations and had informed his superiors of his role.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan ordered a disciplinary inquiry into the detective's involvement in the show after he first appeared in episode two of season four on October 13.

The Herald has learnt that the Commissioner had been informed about Det O'Reilly's part in the drama two weeks before Love/Hate went on air.

Senior garda management felt that the scenarios portrayed on screen were too close to the bone. But sources have revealed that the detective moved into an "office job" in GNDU last February after being offered the temporary acting role.

The producers of the Love/Hate series have revealed that the officer was not involved in an advisory role in either the storylines or scripts.

Writer and creator Stuart Carolan said: "The scripts had all been written long before Kieran ever walked in to audition."

hnews@herald.ie

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