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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Transfer for 'Love/Hate' garda out of drugs to immigration

Kieran O’Reilly: acting role
Kieran O’Reilly: acting role

THE detective who played an undercover garda in 'Love/Hate' is being transferred out of the drugs squad as a result of his role in the hit TV show.

Kieran O'Reilly (35) has been ordered to report for duty in the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) on February 3.

The move came after Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan ordered a disciplinary inquiry into the detective's involvement in the show when he first appeared in October.

A superintendent was appointed to investigate the matter and the undercover garda was served with disciplinary papers the day after his debut appearance.

Senior management had expressed serious concerns that the character played by Gda O'Reilly -- Ciaran Madden -- was "too close" to his former work as a real-life undercover detective with the Garda National Drug Unit (GNDU).

However, it emerged he was not in breach of any disciplinary regulations and participated in filming during his leave. Friends of Gda O'Reilly and 'Love/Hate' insiders revealed that he was "devastated" at the decision to move him.

"Kieran is devastated that he is going to be punished for something that does not breach any disciplinary guidelines. He auditioned for a part on a whim and couldn't believe that he got it," a friend said last night.

"Kieran had already pulled out of doing undercover work by the time he accepted the part in the series."

In November, the Irish Independent revealed how the GNDU officer, who worked undercover on the streets for six years, had been given an ultimatum to either apply for a transfer to another unit or face suspension.

However, the detective refused to seek a transfer and the force's human resource management section took no further action.


Gda O'Reilly was informed of the decision to transfer him on Thursday.

Senior garda management said they were concerned that Gda 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 'Love/Hate' producers insisted that the scripts and plots had already been written long before the officer decided to audition for a part.


Paul Williams

Irish Independent

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