Garda phone tappers profiled innocent people as drug dealers
Thousands of Garda man hours were wasted tapping the phones of innocent people as part of investigations into crimes as serious as drug dealing, the Irish Independent can reveal.
Some of the taps were left active on the phones of innocent third parties for weeks - and were only cancelled when officers flagged concerns about their legitimacy.
An Irish Independent investigation has detailed how officers routinely bypassed the force's protocols in order to listen in on private conversations. It was further reported that an election worker for a serving politician is alleged to have had his mobile phone tapped by gardaí - and the bugging only stopped when a detective raised concerns it was serving "political purposes".
But in fresh developments, it can be revealed that some gardaí who encouraged their junior counterparts to bypass the procedures surrounding phone tapping were promoted to senior ranks within the force.
Major concern was also expressed by officers after it emerged phone taps applied as part of investigations into suspected drug dealing were instead placed on phones belonging to innocent citizens.