A high-profile sportsman and a probationer garda have been arrested after it was suspected that the sportsman used information from the officer to give to an organised crime gang that he is allegedly closely associated with.
This is a garda corruption investigation in which this individual’s links to a transnational organised crime gang is a major factor,” a senior source said last night.
The sportsman aged in his 40s was arrested on Monday morning and questioned for a number of hours at Naas Garda Station in Co Kildare before he was released without charge.
At the same time that he was first detained, a male probationer garda who is currently suspended from duty was arrested in Dublin and quizzed for a number of hours in a station in the capital before he too was released without charge.
The investigation is separate to other probes being carried out by the gardai’s anti-corruption unit (ACU).
Senior sources say that it is suspected that the probationer garda had been passing on garda information to the sports figure for a period of time before these alleged activities were discovered.
The garda has been suspended since this came to light around seven months ago.
Sources say that it is alleged that the sportsman who is based in Leinster had been asking the garda for information about individuals and other matters.
In turn it is suspected that this information may have been passed on to an organised crime gang by the sportsman.
“It is unclear how much information of substance that the probationer would have been able to give to this individual as he was still a probationer and would not have access to particularly sensitive information,” a source said.
“The individual allegedly looking for and receiving the information has been identified as being closely aligned to an organised crime gang,” the source added.
Last night Garda HQ confirmed details of the investigation and arrest operation.
“As part of an ongoing investigation by the Garda Anti-Corruption Unit, a male was arrested in the east of the country yesterday (Monday) in relation to an alleged offence under Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act. He was later released without charge and a file will be sent to the DPP,” a garda spokesman said.
“As part of the same investigation, a male probationer Garda was arrested in Dublin yesterday in relation to the same alleged offence. He was later released without charge and a file will be sent to the DPP.
“The probationer Garda has been suspended since 2022.
“As the investigation is ongoing, An Garda Síochána is not commenting further at this time.
“Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act relates to the unlawful disclosure of confidential Garda information,” he added.
This investigation is just one of many that are being carried out by the anti-corruption unit which was set up in November 2020 and was charged with investigating potentially corrupt activities and designing policies to prevent corruption.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris placed the issue of corruption as one of his top priorities after assuming office in September 2018.