Garda cleared of cocaine allegation is still suspended

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris who has yet to lift the suspension.

A LIMERICK Garda Inspector who was cleared of an allegation that he snorted cocaine at a bar in Castletroy in 2019 is still waiting for the Garda Commissioner to decide if he will be allowed return to duty after a four year suspension.

Inspector Arthur Ryan, one of Limerick City’s most experienced crime fighters, was cleared by a Garda internal disciplinary board of any alleged wrongdoing after he appealed an earlier recommendation that he be dismissed.

Inspector Ryan was arrested, along with then Limerick Superintendent Eamon O’Neill, at their respective homes, by detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) on May 15, 2019.

Inspector Ryan was questioned on suspicion of ingesting cocaine in the Hurler’s Bar on January 9, 2019, which he vehemently denied.

Superintendent O’Neill, who has since retired, was questioned over an allegation he was in the company of a person taking cocaine in the pub on the night, which he fully denied.

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No file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the matter was eventually dropped against Supt O’Neill.

Despite the DPP finding there was no case against Inspector Ryan, the allegation was initially upheld by an internal Garda disciplinary board.

However, he has now been cleared of any wrongdoing after he appealed the Garda board’s original decision.

A source said they expected Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to lift Inspector Ryan’s suspension but that Garda headquarters had yet to formally do so.

“Inspector Ryan was successful in his appeal, so in theory he should probably be back at work today, but there have been cases before where Gardai have had to go through the High Court and they were successful there.”

“It’s not over the line yet, but it is certainly a very positive step,” the source added.