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Complaint lodged with Sipo over unmarked garda car left at airport


Dublin Airport. Photo: Kathy Armstrong

Dublin Airport. Photo: Kathy Armstrong

Dublin Airport. Photo: Kathy Armstrong

A complaint has been lodged with the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) over the actions of gardaí who abandoned an unmarked squad car at Dublin Airport while they went on holiday.

The Sunday Independent recently revealed that a group of officers based in Waterford travelled to the airport in the vehicle and then flew out for a non-work trip.

A spokesperson for Sipo declined to comment, other than saying: “Due to the confidential nature of the Standards in Public Office Commission’s functions, we do not comment on the examination of complaints against individuals.”

An Garda Síochána has concluded an internal investigation into the matter, and the garda – a mid-ranking officer – who was driving the car has been put back on uniform duties following an internal probe.

Sources said he was penalised under disciplinary regulation 10, which is considered a minor infraction.

“Essentially, all he got was an informal slap on the wrist,” a source said.

When contacted, Garda Headquarters declined to comment on the sanction issued, saying it does not comment on an internal disciplinary matter.

The incident left airport police “scratching their heads” and sparked two separate investigations.

The car, which is attached to a specialist unit in the Waterford garda division, was driven by the officer in the company of colleagues to the Airport.

It was then left nearby while they flew off on holiday.

Gardaí are allowed to leave official cars within assigned areas at Dublin Airport when flying out on official business.

In these instances there is an agreement that the car keys are handed in to Dublin Airport garda station so the cars can be moved or reassigned if necessary.

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In this case, the car was not driven to the airport in any official capacity and the car keys were not handed in.

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