'Love/Hate' Garda's job threat
Published 18/11/2013 | 02:00
THE detective who played an undercover garda in 'Love/Hate' has been given an ultimatum by senior management that he will be suspended if he does not seek a transfer from his unit.
Detective Kieran O'Reilly, a respected member of the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU), was given the verbal order two days before the season finale was broadcast.
The 35-year-old officer, who worked as a real-life undercover officer for six years, was informed on November 8 he faced suspension if he didn't apply for a transfer to a different unit.
Senior officers gave the married father of two until 5.30pm on Monday last and told him he would be handing in his badge and gun if he didn't comply.
The Irish Independent has learnt that Det O'Reilly, who played undercover cop Ciaran Madden in the hit show, refused to seek the transfer after receiving legal advice.
Garda management did not follow through on the threat which emanated from the Force's Human Resource Management section.
However, yesterday it emerged that Garda HQ are still planning to transfer Det O'Reilly out of the GNDU despite the fact that he was not in breach of any disciplinary regulations and had informed his superiors of his role in the drama.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan ordered a disciplinary inquiry into the detective's involvement in the show after he first appeared in episode two of season four on October 13.
The Irish Independent has since learnt that the commissioner had been informed about Det O'Reilly's part in the drama two weeks before 'Love/Hate' returned to air.
A superintendent was appointed to investigate the matter and the undercover cop was served with disciplinary papers the day after his debut appearance.
Senior garda management said they were seriously concerned that Det O'Reilly's work with GNDU had been compromised as a result of his involvement in the show.
They felt that the scenarios portrayed on screen were too close to the bone and blamed the detective for giving the programme makers an insight into garda techniques.
But sources have revealed that the detective moved into an "office job" in GNDU last February after being offered the temporary acting role.
Det Reilly had already reached the end of his tenure as an undercover garda operating on the streets by then. He was also on official leave when filming took place.
Friends of the detective, whose wife is also a garda member, say that he is "extremely upset" by the threat of suspension and fears that he is now "going to be buried" by management.
"He is a young man with a young family and if he were suspended it would cause serious financial difficulties for him and his wife," a friend told the Irish Independent last night.
By Paul Williams