O'Callaghan tells gardai he doesn't know Gerry coke dealer
Published 23/12/2010 | 05:00
RADIO broadcaster Gareth O'Callaghan has admitted to gardai that he does not know the identity of the drug dealer who supplied cocaine to his former colleague, Gerry Ryan.
Mr O'Callaghan had agreed to be interviewed by gardai after weekend reports indicated he might have information that could help their investigation.
Mr O'Callaghan, who formerly worked with 2fm, had been quoted in several media reports saying that he knew of three or four stars in RTE who were using cocaine, and that the names of two dealers were regularly mentioned.
But it is understood that he was unable to provide any information that could have helped to progress their inquiries.
Mr O'Callaghan was interviewed by detectives at Blanchardstown station, Dublin, about the media indications and his reported comments.
Gardai denied a report in a tabloid newspaper yesterday that Mr O'Callaghan was under protection by them as a result of the comments.
One officer said there was nothing to suggest that he had been threatened or that his safety was in danger. It is believed that the investigation team is now pursuing several lines of inquiry in a bid to unmask the so-called "dealer to the stars".
Also yesterday, Mr O'Callaghan branded comments made by columnist Fiona Looney about Gerry Ryan as "a bit rich".
Describing in her newspaper column recent coverage of the Ryan inquest, Ms Looney complained how people "who barely registered on his radar in life have been promoted, largely at their own hand, to close friends and confidants. People he regarded as idiots have claimed to have given him wise counsel."
However Mr O'Callaghan, who regularly stood in for the broadcaster on his radio show, angrily dismissed the remarks.
"With great respect to Fiona Looney, it has taken her long enough to speak out. I am not an idiot. Gerry was very fussy about who did the show for him when he wasn't there and Fiona sat opposite me in studio when I was deputising for Gerry. I think it's a bit rich of her coming out with this now," he told the Irish Independent.
"She needs to stop being so sanctimonious," he added.
Meanwhile, members of the team investigating Gerry Ryan's death have also been in contact with journalists from the 'Sunday Independent' newspaper, which claimed that a well-known drug dealer had been supplying celebrity figures and that half of his trade was with RTE staff.