The Department of Transport ignored its own policy guidelines last September by issuing a road-haulage licence to one of Ireland’s most notorious drugs traffickers after consultations with unidentified gardai.
The opposition has called on Noel Dempsey, the transport minister, to explain how Kieran Boylan, a convicted criminal whose relationship with the force is the subject of an inquiry by the garda ombudsman, was issued with the licence despite departmental rules which state that hauliers must be of “good repute”.
Even though they were aware that Boylan had a previous conviction for drug trafficking, transport officials gave him a five-year permit to operate a haulage business.
Six weeks ago the transport department also allowed Boylan to change the name which appears on his licence to Ciaran O’Baoighallan, an Irish translation.
The haulage licence allows Boylan to operate an international transport business. Gardai sources said they fear he uses this as a cover for his drug smuggling activities, and that the Irish language name will help him to evade detection.
A spokeswoman for Dempsey said it was not policy to comment on the details of individual cases. She noted that all applications for haulage licences were decided in consultation with gardai, but declined to confirm whether gardai had made representations on Boylan’s behalf. A spokesman for the Garda Siochana refused to comment.