Tuesday 30 June 2015

Garda bosses backpedal on officer's 'Love/Hate' role

Published 24/11/2013 | 01:00

Love/Hate actor Kieran O’Reilly was a ‘Mockie’ with the gardai.

RED-faced Garda bosses who wanted to discipline the detective who played the role of an undercover garda in TV drama Love/Hate are being forced into an embarrassing climbdown, the Sunday Independent has learnt.

Senior management wanted to impose career-threatening disciplinary action on Detective Garda Kieran O'Reilly despite the fact he informed his seniors before appearing on the TV show and received permission to do so.

However, sources have revealed that senior management have been reduced to asking the Garda legal affairs section to introduce a new regulation restricting gardai from appearing in dramas depicting any policing-related role.

There is no regulation to prevent gardai from appearing in fictional dramas, and introducing such a regulation now is seen among many gardai as a petty move and a humiliating climbdown.

Det Garda O'Reilly, a highly respected member of the force, embarked on the TV role after receiving permission from his superiors and taking unpaid leave to play the part of undercover garda Ciaran Madden.

Senior garda management were apparently unaware that Det Garda O'Reilly was appearing in the show until it was aired. Sources say that when it became known in Garda HQ, senior management became "obsessed".

Gang make a run for it Laurence Kinlan as Elmo, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge and Mark Dunne as Ado
Gang make a run for it Laurence Kinlan as Elmo, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge and Mark Dunne as Ado
The Weldon family held in ghost estate
Fran chases Kellie
The kidnapping scheme from Sunday night's episode of Love/Hate
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge with Mary Murray as Janet
Warren's First Holy Communion
Tommy and Aido in conversation at Warren's Communion
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge at Warren's communion party
Kieran O' Reilly as Detective Ciaran Madden
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge
Caoilfhionn Dunne as Lizzie and Barry Keoghan as Wayne
Caoilfhionn Dunne as Lizzie and Barry Keoghan as Wayne
Fran urinates in a graveyard
Silvia Napoleoni as Denise and Susan Loughnane as Debbie
Callous: Nidge sees the bodies
Keith Duffy in 'Love/Hate'
Tom Vaughan Lawlor as Nidge.
Tom Vaughan Lawlor as Nidge.
Fran (Peter Coonan) and Dean (Ian Lloyd Anderson) attack Andrew (Peter O' Meara)
Fran (Peter Coonan) and Dean (Ian Lloyd Anderson) dispose of Andrew's body (Peter O' Meara)
Fran (Peter Coonan) and Dean (Ian Lloyd Anderson)
Fran (Peter Coonan) and Dean (Ian Lloyd Anderson) attack Andrew (Peter O' Meara)
Fran (Peter Coonan) attacks Andrew (Peter O' Meara)
Fran (Peter Coonan) and Dean (Ian Lloyd Anderson) dispose of Andrew's body (Peter O' Meara)
Ado (Mark Dunne) with Tommy (Killian Scott)
Tommy (Killian Scott) collapses outside warehouse
Nidge (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) and Elmo (Laurence Kinlan drag Tommy (Killian Scott) into the warehouse
Nidge (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) and Elmo (Laurence Kinlan drag Tommy (Killian Scott) into the warehouse
Elmo (Laurence Kinlan) Nidge (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) and Ado (Mark Dunne) discuss what to do with Tommy (Killian Scott)
Ado (Mark Dunne) with Tommy (Killian Scott)
Brían F. O' Byrne as Mick Moynihan checking on Killian Scott as Tommy
Stephen O' Brien as Detective Terry arrests Tom Vaughan Lawlor as Nidge
Brían F. O' Byrne as Mick Moynihan checking on Killian Scott as Tommy **EMBARGO - NOT TO APPEAR IN PRINT, ONLINE OR SOCIAL MEDIA UNTIL MONDAY NOVEMBER 11TH**
Love/Hate Series 4 Episode 6 - Sunday November 10th Brían F. O' Byrne as Mick Moynihan checking on Killian Scott as Tommy **EMBARGO - NOT TO APPEAR IN PRINT, ONLINE OR SOCIAL MEDIA UNTIL MONDAY NOVEMBER 11TH**
Glen (Leroy Harris) guns down Wayne (Barry Keoghan). Love/Hate series 4, episode 6. RTÉ One.
Glen (Leroy Harris) guns down Wayne (Barry Keoghan).

A superintendent was directed to investigate whether disciplinary regulations had been breached.

It is now understood that this investigation concluded that Det Garda O'Reilly was entitled to appear in the crime drama and complied fully with regulations. The only road open to senior management now is a change in regulations, and the legal section has been directed to look into this.

In real life, Det Garda O'Reilly carried out dangerous undercover work into drugs gangs for six years for the National Drugs Unit, but went back to desk work last year. He appeared in all six episodes of the last series and was praised for his performances.

Two days before the final episode was broadcast he was informed that disciplinary action against him was being considered.

The internal inquiry into his acting role provoked astonishment among colleagues who know of Det Garda O'Reilly's work and the risks he has taken in real life. The fact that an officer of superintendent rank was taken from other duties to investigate the TV appearance was widely derided.

"They're obsessed with it up there [Garda headquarters, in the Phoenix Park]. You'd think they might have other things to worry about," one source said.

Another said he hoped that in the next series the Love/ Hate team would "show how stupid it is in the guards . . . they've lost the plot".

The serving of disciplinary papers on Det Garda O'Reilly further reinforced the view that there is now a gulf between operational gardai and senior management.

Sources this weekend said that control of the force had fallen into the hands of career-obsessed "bean-counters", many of whom had little actual policing experience.

They pointed to a number of senior garda managers who had gone into nine-to-five desk jobs early in their careers and had risen to senior positions without taking part in any serious crime investigations.

Sources claim some senior officers have never made any arrests. Other sources pointed to senior gardai who, they claim, have had almost no experience in criminal court proceedings. In contrast, they point to other gardai whose lives have been threatened. In one Dublin division there have been threats to the lives of detectives from a professional gangland assassin. A bounty of €30,000 was offered for the murder of any of them.

- Jim Cusack

Sunday Independent

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