'Corrupt' gardai hid Gerry Ryan coke habit
Half of one dealer's trade was into RTE, says garda source
Published 19/12/2010 | 05:00
Senior figures in the gardai and Department of Justice privately believe that a small number of corrupt gardai in Dublin have protected rich and public figures with drug habits, including Gerry Ryan.
No official garda investigation is under way into who supplied cocaine to the late RTE star, but one senior source spoke last week about an instance of a known drug dealer who was supplying well-known figures in the media. He said intelligence suggested that "half" of the dealer's trade was "into RTE".
The source also named one person close to Mr Ryan who was being supplied by the same dealer with half an ounce of cocaine a week. Detectives had planned to arrest the buyer but were warned off.
It also appears the dealer was allowed to continue his trade while under the protection of possibly corrupt gardai who claimed him as a valuable "intelligence source".
Gardai who spoke to the Sunday Independent last week said that at the core of the issue of protecting high-profile drug abusers was the fear among rank-and-file gardai of a political backlash.
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Detectives in Dublin confirm that they are aware of the well-known clubs, restaurants and hotels where cocaine continues to be abused as well as the public personalities involved. However, they admit there has been an unofficial "blind eye" given to such places and persons, as there is a fear of powerful political and monetary links to figures either serving or retired, but still with influence within the force.
A poll conducted on Friday night by the Sunday Independent has found that 68 per cent of people believe there has been a "conspiracy of silence" in RTE on Mr Ryan's drug taking, while 57 per cent believe there should be a garda investigation to find the person or persons who supplied him with drugs.
Radio presenter and former colleague of Mr Ryan, Gareth O'Callaghan, said that he had been shunned for going public on the issue. "It's been the biggest shock of my career that people who I have worked with for 18 years have formed a solid, impenetrable wall of silence," he said.
"Since I have spoken out the phone has stopped ringing. I would usually be asked out for a drink -- this week the invites have stopped."