A FOUR-YEAR investigation into allegations that gardai colluded with a convicted drug dealer is expected to be completed within weeks.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has been examining whether serious drugs charges against Kieran Boylan were dropped because he was a garda informer.
Boylan was arrested in possession of €1.7m worth of cocaine and heroin in October 2005.
In 2008, the drug-trafficking charges against Boylan, who was then aged 37, with an address at Rockfield Park, Ardee, Co Louth, were dropped by the State.
A spokesman for the GSOC said: "We won't comment as we have an ongoing public interest investigation, but I can tell you we expect that to be finished in a couple of weeks."
Investigators will soon deliver the file on the probe to the commission chairman.
A decision will then be made on whether to refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, pass it on to the Garda Commissioner for potential disciplinary action or write a special report. However, it is understood that a file will most likely be sent to the DPP.
It is believed that Boylan, who was a convicted drugs trafficker, may have been used as an informant but was not officially registered, contrary to requirements under garda reforms introduced following the Morris Tribunal's probe into garda corruption in Donegal.
As part of the soon-to-conclude investigation, it is understood the GSOC investigators have taken statements in prison from jailed petty criminals with links to Boylan.
Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan said: "These are very, very disturbing allegations striking at the very heart of our criminal justice system.
"It is essential that the Garda Ombudsman inquiry be undertaken and completed as quickly as possible.
"I'm concerned at the time frame here.
"The Minister for Justice must ensure that there are appropriate resources available to the investigators and the authorities so they can act without delay on the contents of any report."