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Just why was €1.7m drugs case dropped?

CONVICTED drug dealer Kieran Boylan was at the centre of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission four-year investigation.

GSOC launched a public interest inquiry in on October 15, 2008, after drug-trafficking charges against Boylan were dropped by the State.

Boylan escaped prosecution despite being caught with heroin and cocaine worth €1.7m in Ardee, Co Louth, by the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) in October, 2005.

At the time he was on bail for an earlier drugs haul of cocaine and heroin in Dublin and Louth with an estimated value of €700,000 for which he was later sentenced to five years in prison.

Boylan (inset) faced six charges in connection with the €1.7m seizure. However, on the last day of the court sittings, in July, 2008, the 2005 drugs charges against Boylan were dropped without explanation. The charges relating to the GNDU haul had been dropped, reinstated, then dropped again.

It was later alleged that Boylan had also obtained an international haulage licence from the Department of Transport after gardai provided misleading information to officials, which suggested he had no drugs convictions.

The licence was later revoked.

The gardai concluded their own inquiries into the case and decided that no prosecutions or disciplinary action should take place.

The GSOC inquiry examined whether Boylan's contact with gardai was linked to the charges against him being dropped. The 600-page file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The DPP took four months to dismiss the report as insufficient to sustain a criminal prosecution against any gardai.