(Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan)
Yesterday three retired Garda Chief Superintendents publicly denied the conclusions of the Smithwick Tribunal that a member of the force in Dundalk Garda station colluded in the deaths of RUC oofficers Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan in 1989..
Ed Moloney, author of The Secret History of the IRA in his blog today writes that the Provisional IRA did have a mole in Dundalk Garda station at the time of the RUC men’s killing.
I do not know what happened on the day that the two RUC men met their end but there are two things that I do know: one is that it was not necessary for the Gardai informant to tip off the IRA on the day of the killings for him to have colluded in the deaths.
The other thing I know is that the IRA did have an agent inside the Dundalk Garda station. The Smithwick Tribunal was established largely because of allegations from Toby Harnden in his book Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh that a Dundalk-based Garda helped the IRA kill the two RUC men.
I believed him not just because I know him to be a reputable and ethical journalist but also because I was told the same, that a well known Dundalk Garda was in the back pocket of the IRA in South Armagh. My source was a well-placed member of the IRA whose position in the organisation was such that he was in a position to know all about the Garda agent.
The details about the agent that I was given dovetail exactly with Harnden’s information. The protestations to the contrary from the retired Garda officers are understandable but they do not add up.
Previously: “Beyond Comprehension”