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Ex garda jailed for drugs offence is at centre of probe over leaks to Hutch gang

Gardai are investigating whether Murphy used his contacts in the force to, wittingly or unwittingly, procure information that would be helpful to the Hutch gang.

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch (left) and ex garda superintendent John Murphy (right)

Alan SherrySunday World

A FORMER Garda Superintendent who was this week sentenced to six-and-a-half-years on drugs charges is at the centre of a probe into suspected collusion with members of the Hutch gang.

Disgraced former officer John ‘Spud’ Murphy (62), who was sentenced at Dublin Circuit Court on Tuesday, was caught with €260,000 worth of cannabis at his home in Clontarf in September last year when gardai carried out a series of raids as part of an investigation into the leaking of information to the Hutch gang.

Gardai are investigating whether Murphy used his contacts in the force to, wittingly or unwittingly, procure information that would be helpful to the Hutch gang.

Numerous electronic devices and cash were also seized during the raids led by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

While garda were expecting to find electronic devices at Murphy’s home they were surprised to find the large quantity of drugs.

Former Garda Supt John Murphy

The homes of two serving officers were also raided as part of an evidence-gathering strand of the investigation.

It is understood one of those officers may have inadvertently passed on information not realising it was then being passed onto the gang. Gardai found ammunition in another officer’s locker.

At the time of the raids, Murphy was arrested on suspicion of enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence.

Gardaí are investigating if the former top cop had received confidential garda information which was passed onto the Hutch gang.

He accepted responsibility for the drugs immediately and pleaded guilty before the book of evidence had even been served.

His barrister Michael O’Higgins SC said this week that Murphy was a functioning alcoholic who had built up financial debts of €855,000 since he retired from the force a decade ago.

Murphy handling of informants while still serving as a garda caused concern within the force as they were in breach of strict protocol on how to deal with sources.

As well as being suspected of having links to the Hutch gang, sources say he had links to serious criminal Sean Dunne, from Donaghmede, in north Dublin, who went missing in Alicante in 2004 and is believed to have been murdered.

Dunne was a well-known figure in the underworld who graduated through the criminal ranks from armed robber to international drug trafficker at the time of his death.

Dunne was understood to be one of the now-retired garda's informants while he was still in the force.

Dunne's drugs operation grew from strength to strength over the years and he amassed a multi-million euro fortune from criminality.

Murphy was also subject to internal inquiries in relation to running another informant off the books who was working in the drugs trade. He denied wrongdoing in the case and was not subject to any criminal proceedings in relation to the matter.

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