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Garda watchdog finalises investigation into Belmullet garda booze allegations

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 16.11.57Extract from an article by Áine Ryan published in The Mayo News Tuesday 8 July 2014

THE Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has confirmed to The Mayo News it is finalising its report about allegations by a former Shell contractor that Belmullet gardaí were given booze bribes. The allegations by services company, OSSL, have been reported in local, national and international media and were the subject of an internal inquiry by Shell and two Garda investigations.

Mr Desmond Kane, of OSSL, has claimed his company was instructed by Shell personnel to deliver a large amount of alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station before Christmas 2007. Shell has rejected the claim. However, Mr Kane says that, because of a dispute with the company, he was never paid for this delivery. He says he did get paid for earlier, smaller booze deliveries and other ‘sweeteners’ to local people.

Last August, a senior garda was appointed to examine the allegations. Supt Thomas Murphy referred his findings to GSOC, which subsequently appointed investigator Mr Johan Groenewald.

Meanwhile, a call has been made by 37 signatories – including Garda whistleblower John Wilson, social justice campaigner Father Peter McVerry and journalist Vincent Browne – for an independent inquiry into policing of the Corrib protests.

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