] Date: Saturday, 15 November 1997
Source: An Phoblacht/Republican News
Contact: RUC admits collusion with drug dealers
by Laura Friel

An RUC drug squad chief has admitted that RUC Special Branch collude and
protect drug dealers if they are acting as informers.

Kevin Sheehy, an RUC Detective Superintendent in charge of the drug squad,
said that the search for security information always had priority over the
battle against drugs and there had been occasions when drug squad operations
had been scuttled on the orders of the RUC Special Branch.

The RUC chief's comments were made during an antidrugs conference in
Donegal last year. Sheehey was speaking privately to Independent Councillor
P.J. Blake from Letterkenny. "Superintendent Sheehy made these remarks to
several of us and we were all shocked at the time. He stated it quite matter
of factly." Blake said he and his colleagues had felt unable to publicise
the RUC officer's remarks at the time but following recent drug seizures in
Donegal, the councillor felt compelled to speak out. "The bulk of Donegal's
drug problem stems from the North," said Blake, "which is not really
surprising given the attitude of the RUC."

Sinn Fein's Northern Chairperson Gerry O'hEara said the admission by the RUC
that it turns a blind eye to drug activity in the Six counties highlights
the RUC's inability to provide an effective policing service. "Kevin
Sheehy's comments confirm what Sinn Fein has long stated, this sectarian
force's primary role is not the provision of a policing service but the
infiltration and demoralisation of the nationalist community," he said.