BUT RETIREE NAMED IN INTELLIGENCE FILES IS NOT INVESTIGATED BY TRIBUNAL
A RETIRED garda not under investigation by the Smithwick Tribunal gave the IRA information linked to the murder of two RUC men, according to key PSNI intelligence. The intelligence only came to light at the tribunal in Dublin yesterday.
Judge Peter Smithwick is investigating whether three former garda – Owen Corrigan, Leo Colton and Finbarr Hickey – passed information to the IRA which led to the deaths of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan. The officers were shot dead in an ambush in South Armagh after leaving a meeting at Dundalk Garda Station on March 20th 1989. All three retired garda deny giving information to the IRA.
Detective Chief Superintendent Roy McComb of the PSNI presented intelligence which said an unnamed garda gave the IRA information on the two RUC men. Mr McComb said the information was reliable and from ” multiple sources “. He said the intelligence had emerged since the tribunal was established in 2005 but could not say why it had been withheld until now. Mr McComb said the garda had been paid ” a considerable amount ” for the information. Mr McComb said a criminal from the border area was also linked to the murders. He said the garda gave the IRA information on Co Louth farmer Tom Oliver, who was tortured and murdered by the paramilitary group in 1991 because it believed he was a Garda informer.
Mr McComb also presented intelligence that a former garda in Dundalk, Jim Lane, had expressed concerns that Mr Hickey, Mr Colton and Mr Corrigan ” had unethical relationships with PIRA members in the border area “. Under cross-examination, Mr McComb acknowledged that Mr Lane had told the tribunal the opposite. Counsel for Mr Corrigan, Jim O’Callaghan, said the PSNI had hung his client ” out to dry ” by the way it had handled its intelligence. After the hearing lawyers for the two murdered RUC men said they were concerned that key intelligence had only just emerged.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : IRISH NEWS.
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- Smithwick Tribunal: Intelligence report pointed finger at RUC officer (fiannaiochta.wordpress.com)
- PSNI lifts secrecy on key police document (fiannaiochta.wordpress.com)
- Margaret Thatcher ‘played down collusion’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)