Belfast Telegraph

Gardai fail to find Gerry Ryan's drug dealer

By Tom Brady and Luke Byrne

Gardai have failed to find the drug dealer who supplied cocaine to broadcaster Gerry Ryan. And it now looks unlikely anyone will face a prosecution.

A team of detectives, led by an inspector, carried out extensive inquiries after medical evidence at his inquest indicated cocaine had triggered his death.

Toxicology tests confirmed the presence of cocaine and a moderate level of alcohol in his system.

The garda inquiries focused in particular on those who had either met the broadcaster or had been in contact with him in the crucial 24 hours prior to his death. But none of those interviewed were able to provide evidence about the source of the cocaine or the identity of a dealer who might have supplied drugs to him in the past.

Officers also spoke to colleagues who worked with Mr Ryan in RTE, and a host of celebrities and friends who moved in similar social circles.

Among those interviewed was former 2fm broadcaster Gareth O'Callaghan, who had been quoted in several media reports as saying he knew three or four stars in RTE who were using cocaine and that the names of two dealers were regularly mentioned.

He agreed to be interviewed; however, during discussions at Blanchardstown garda station, Mr O'Callaghan admitted he did not know the identity of the drug dealer who supplied Mr Ryan. Gardai later denied a report that O'Callaghan had been placed under protection as a result of his comments.

Detectives also drew a blank in interviews with others who they believed had information.

Meanwhile, a separate investigation, headed by Det Supt John McMahon of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, did not find any evidence to substantiate allegations that members of the gardai had protected public figures, including Mr Ryan, from investigation over drug abuse.

The investigation was set up by former Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy following claims in a Sunday newspaper that some officers turned a blind eye to the drug habits of certain rich and famous figures.

The newspaper suggested a number of senior garda officers and officials in the Department of Justice believed a small number of corrupt gardai protected those figures.

Investigators interviewed the newspaper editor and author of the article as part of their inquiries. But a subsequent report sent to garda management indicated they had been unable to find any evidence to back up the claims.

A decision has yet to be made on whether this investigation can be progressed any further.

Belfast Telegraph

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