By Cormac Looney
Monday October 12 2009
A Garda has been released from custody after being quizzed about leaking information to Dublin crime gangs.
The officer, in his 40s, was detained last Friday at his home, along with his partner.
He was questioned on suspicion of taking information from the internal garda Pulse system -- where gardai intelligence is collated -- and selling it to criminals.
When detectives searched his home at 1.30pm on Friday they found a shotgun at the property.
The officer was detained by gardai from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation who had been tipped off about his alleged contacts with Dublin criminals.
The Herald understands the garda may have been 'turned' after developing personal relationships with members of crime families in north Dublin.
He has over 20 years' service with the force, but is likely to be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
The information leaked by the officer relates to raids on properties and the collated activities and movements of known criminals.
Garda information on specific Finglas criminals, and their associates, is also suspected of being leaked.
The officer was questioned over the weekend and was released from custody at Balbriggan garda station on Saturday night.
His partner, a women in her 40s, was also questioned.
She was held at Ballymun garda station and released on Saturday. A file on the matter will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions shortly. The garda may be prosecuted for breaching the Official Secrets Act, it is understood.
Sources told the Herald that the officer was well-known in the Finglas area. One source said: "He was a mouthy type, always chatting and a bit overbearing.
"A lot of this man's colleagues are shocked by the allegations."
The case is the first high-profile investigation into a rogue garda since an officer was convicted in the 1990s of leaking information to members of John Gilligan's crime gang.
Ex-garda John O'Neill (43) was jailed on 16 charges of accepting bribes in 1998 -- including substantial sums from Gilligan's gang. He was a former Scott Medal winner for bravery.
The bribes to O'Neill were sanctioned by gang members Brian Meehan and Paul Ward.
- Cormac Looney