A Minute Past Midnight

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New Garda Commissioner Drew Harris earlier this morning;  Josephine Feehily, chairwoman of the Policing Authority.

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

RTÉ’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds interviewed chair of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily, following the swearing in of the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

During the interview, Mr Reynolds raised Mr Harris’s evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in 2012.

Judge Smithwick ultimately found there was collusion between members of the gardaí and the IRA in the murders of two senior RUC officers – Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan – on March 20, 1989 and that gardaí in Dundalk were most likely involved.

Mr Harris’s evidence was given to the tribunal in private but it was later read into evidence.

From this morning’s interview…

Paul Reynolds: “Well, what about the concerns in relation to Dundalk, in particular, whereby the evidence that he gave at the Smithwick Tribunal, in relation to Garda collusion. On the one hand, he has given evidence that the gardai colluded with the murders of two senior police officers and, on the other hand, he’s the head of this force.”

Josephine Feehily: “Judge Smithick made the conclusions in that tribunal and I’m not going to go beyond those. He heard all of the evidence, he took account of all of the aspects that he wanted to take and he reached a conclusion. And, again, that seems to be something that’s overlooked in the conversation. It was a judge-led tribunal and the judge drew the conclusion.”

Reynolds: “That’s true but it wasn’t accepted by the Garda Commissioner at the time and it hasn’t been accepted by many gardai today. It remains a sore point in Dundalk and now we have the man who gave that evidence at the top of the Garda force.”

Feehily: “I’m satisfied to rest on Judge Smithick’s conclusions.”

Reynolds: “I accept that but do you see the difficulty?”

Feehily:I see that commentators are taking one particular aspect of policing and they are, before the commissioner has had an opportunity to address it, they’re drawing conclusions. What I’m saying is that the person who heard all of the evidence drew his conclusions, in accordance with his job and they stand.”

The Smithwick Tribunal report can be read here

Listen back in full here

Earlier: A Show Of Force

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Meanwhile…

Basically they are asking us to believe that in the course of a 30-year campaign the most sophisticated terrorist organisation in the world did not plant or acquire any agents in our security institutions, including the Defence Forces and the Garda.

Justice Peter Smithwick accepted Drew Harris’s evidence that he had intelligence pointing to collusion, not least because Garda intelligence confirmed it.

“I think it significant,” Smithwick concluded, “that both police services have received information from reliable sources indicating that there was collusion.”

Good enough for me.

Time for Leo Varadkar to take stock and make tough decisions (Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent)

Rollingnews

12 thoughts on “A Minute Past Midnight

    1. Annus Horribilis

      +1 Elton. It’s ridiculous, the PSNI wouldn’t appointment a Garda to the equivalent post in their organisation, if the situation was in reverse. That would NEVER happen. Apart from that, the RUC were so corrupt, the PSNI are the same heads under a different monicker. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

  1. phil

    I suspect that the new Commissioner might be sending an memo and after that I suspect RTE’s crime correspondent will have trouble finding ‘sources’ for his ‘reports’ ….

  2. RuilleBuille

    First time I’ve heard Reynolds take on a figure of authority.

    Of course it may have been done at the behest of Special Branch who know what a disaster the appointment of a foreign intelligence operative as head of state security.

  3. Optimus Grime

    “The most sophisticated terrorist organisation in the world” – Really??? The RA?? We are talking about the same RA here??

  4. A Person

    Re the second part of this post – which is unsigned., Harris is well known for being a MI5 insider – their man on the ground. Of course it is right for people to question his appointment.

  5. Annus Horribilis

    +1 Elton. It’s ridiculous, the PSNI wouldn’t appointment a Garda to the equivalent post in their organisation, if the situation was in reverse. That would NEVER happen. Apart from that, the RUC were so corrupt, the PSNI are the same heads under a different monicker. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

  6. DjH

    this could be a master stroke by F.G and Charlie Flanagan if a big IF there is a border down the Irish sea, and N.I is being policed jointly by AGS and PSNI. Alternatively it could be a disaster, if border is on the island ie it brings N.I style society to Republic closer than ever before.

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