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drug testing Gardai Anti-Corruption Unit to probe officers' drug use and alleged infiltration from crime groups

Random drug testing is to be introduced and could be in place in six months


Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary. Photo: Collins Photos

Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary. Photo: Collins Photos

Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary. Photo: Collins Photos

The Garda Anti-Corruption Unit (GACU) has begun an investigation into drug misuse by gardaí and alleged infiltration from organised crime groups.

The unit was established to combat internal corruption, including issues such as professional boundaries and the abuse of power for sexual gain.

The force's own 'AC-12' has 26 members, including garda management, and will focus on concerns of internal corruption.

It will see random drug tests for all Garda personnel, while a confidential hotline is being set up for gardaí to report their colleagues.

The GACU has received a "small number of complaints" in the short period it has been operational and is carrying out enquiries.

Speaking yesterday, Chief Superintendent Johanna O'Leary, who oversees the unit, said: "There are some complaints around drug taking. There are some, obviously, where there might be infiltration from organised crime groups."

Chief Supt O'Leary said a complaint has been made around the area of criminal gangs, but could not comment further.

Gardaí in the past have prosecuted colleagues for colluding with crime groups.

An investigation by Sligo detectives led to Gda Jimell Henry being jailed in 2018 for 18 months for leaking information to a local criminal gang.

Drug testing will be introduced no sooner than six months from now and will be carried out on new recruits and prospective members.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Clavin said random drug tests will also be carried out and that all garda personnel are subject to this.

Failing a drugs test could be grounds for dismissal, he added.

"We know of instances where some of our people have been recreationally using drugs," Mr Clavin said.

"So I would be concerned about the level of drug taking in Irish society in general and, as I say, our people come from Irish society."

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