A SERVING member of the garda is facing an investigation for a potential breach of force regulations after appearing as an undercover officer in RTÉ’s crime drama Love/Hate.
Detective Kieran O’Reilly, a member of the Garda National Drug Unit (GNDU) who has previously worked in undercover drug operations, played a member of a special unit trying to crack down on gangland criminals.
He made his acting debut as garda Ciaran Madden in the second episode of the new series on Sunday night, which drew over 800,000 viewers, posing undercover as a drug addict and setting up a garda sting operation.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has stated that “issues need to be addressed” regarding the matter and that a senior officer was compiling a report to determine how Detective O’Reilly became involved in the production.
He said: “I’m very aware of the programme and its huge audience, and at this point in time it’s not appropriate to comment – other than to say I had a discussion with some of my senior colleagues who viewed the programme.”
Acting is not a prohibited extra-curricular activity under the Garda Code, and it is understood that Detective O’Reilly filmed his scenes earlier this year while on official leave.
The producers of Love/Hate have highlighted that he was only part of the show in an acting capacity and had no advisory role in the script writing or development of the storyline.
A spokesman for the Garda Representative Association said: “We will be watching closely to see what the outcome of this due process will be.”
He could face internal disciplinary measures if the investigation finds that he has breached garda policy.
Detective O’Reilly’s character will feature prominently in the remaining episodes of the fourth series.