A West Cork-based Garda, who has been involved in some of the country’s biggest ever drug seizures, has become the first member of An Garda Síochána to be honoured by his European police colleagues for his work in preventing maritime drug trafficking into Europe.
Det Supt Sean Healy, who lives in West Cork, has been honoured by the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC – N) based in Lisbon for his work in combating maritime drug trafficking off the Cork coast.
Det Supt Healy was involved in the investigation of some of the biggest ever drugs seizures in Ireland in joint operations involving gardaí, customs and the naval service including the Sea Mist in 1996 when €125m worth of cocaine was seized in Cork harbour.
Formerly stationed in Bandon, but now based at Anglesea St in Cork city, Det Supt Healy was also involved in the investigation into the Gemeos in 1998 when €61m worth of cocaine was seized in Kinsale and the Posidonia in 1999 when €18m worth of cannabis was brought into Schull.
And he was also involved in three other huge seizures off the Irish coast – the Lucky Day in 2007 when €440m worth of cocaine was seized, Dances with Waves in 2008 when €400m worth of cocaine was seized and the Makayabella in 2012 when €290m worth of cocaine was seized.
Det Supt Healy received the MAOC N Medal for distinction from the director of MAOC N, Michael O’Sullivan at a ceremony in Lisbon last Thursday night, attended by law enforcement and dignitaries from the seven countries.
‘Det Supt Healy has been involved in the investigation of major drug importation cases into Ireland over the past 25 years. His commitment, drive and successful operational activity is recognised at an international level and he is regarded as an expert on Maritime Law,’ said Mr O’Sullivan.
MAOC N is an international law enforcement organisation based in Lisbon and comprises law enforcement and military personnel from seven European countries, including Ireland, all working together to prevent illegal maritime drug trafficking into Europe.
This year, the co-ordination of the interception of cocaine shipments from South America by MAOC N resulted in seizures totalling €1.8bn from transnational organised crime groups and led to the arrest of many of a significant number of persons on suspicion of drug trafficking offences.