Love/Hate detective forced into immigration job

The police detective who portrayed himself in the popular Irish TV drama "Love/Hate" has been forced to take a transfer to the gardaí's (Irish police) immigration department.

Garda Kieran O'Reilly, who played an undercover drugs officer in RTE's smash-hit "Love/Hate" – his actual position within the force prior to filming – must now take up a role within the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

The decision was reportedly made by Garda management after concluding that the detective's position as an undercover drugs agent had been rendered untenable given the fact that his identity was now known to effectively the entire country, including the organized crime gang members O'Reilly had been tasked with catching.

Members of the force are also reportedly unhappy that the detective may have leaked some of the force's real-life surveillance methods to boost the program's realism, although this is fiercely denied both by O'Reilly and the show's producers, who say that the script had been finalized before the Garda joined the cast.

O'Reilly, a plain-clothes officer formerly affiliated with the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU), believed that as the force's internal rulebook did not have any explicit guidelines outlawing portraying members' jobs on TV programs or other fictional works that he would be allowed to continue in his job after filming had concluded.

However, Garda management has taken a decidedly frosty attitude towards O'Reilly's burgeoning acting career from the outset and issued the detective a formal verbal warning last November.

The 35-year-old was told that if he did not seek a transfer from the unit within two weeks that he would be forcibly transferred to another department.

The garda's seniors were reportedly aggrieved that the role depicted by O'Reilly in the program was too similar to his real-life job and that some of the techniques shown in the program had not come into the public domain before.

Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, ordered an internal inquiry into the detective's role, although legal advice taken by O'Reilly had indicated that the force would not be able to force him into another department as explicit regulations prohibiting the acting were not in place.

O'Reilly had then expressed fear that he would be suspended from the force, which he said would be traumatic for him and his young family.

Friends have said that the former detective is "devastated" by the forced transfer.