‘At this stage it’s outrageous. The process should have concluded years ago and he either should have been sacked or cleared’
The garda is on full pay while the investigation remains ongoing, according to a source.
“At this stage it’s outrageous. The process should have concluded years ago and he either should have been sacked or cleared of wrongdoing. There is no excuse for it taking this long but it is being put down to administrative errors,” the source said.
“It is not fair on the officer at the centre of this to have his life in limbo for so long and it is not a good look for An Garda Síochána to take so long to complete an investigation into this matter.”
The case initially involved four officers who were then based in a station in the Leinster area.
The investigation focuses on an allegation made by a nightclub worker in a Co Kildare venue in December 2017. A number of off-duty gardaí were “having a night out” in the club when it was claimed a male and female officer were seen by a doorman taking cocaine into a toilet cubicle.
The doorman alerted gardaí who arrived at the scene and spoke to the officers. No illegal drugs were seized, despite a number of searches taking place.
All four gardaí were suspended, and at least three separate homes were raided as part of the investigation, which was described as “very thorough and extensive”. A criminal investigation into the matter concluded in September 2018, when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed the four should not be charged with any criminal offence.
The female garda claimed she had received cocaine from another member of the force. It is understood she also said the amount of the drug given to her was small and for personal use only.
It is understood two of the four officers involved have now resigned from the force. A third is back working as a garda after being disciplined for “being in a licensed premises after hours”. This officer was never under suspicion for alleged drug-taking but was “simply present” with the other gardaí in the pub that night.
But the fourth garda — described as the “main player” — is still going through the disciplinary process. He stands accused of “potentially taking drugs” during the incident.
If found culpable, it is understood this garda is facing dismissal.
The decision not to prosecute came after an investigation led by a senior garda inspector who submitted a detailed file to the DPP.
Any criminal conviction was always unlikely, said a source, given no cocaine was ever recovered by investigators.
The case sent shock waves through the force when it first emerged in February 2018.
Garda headquarters said when contacted that it does not comment on disciplinary investigations.