Tag Archives: Smithwick Tribunal


(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.

The IRA Did Have An Agent In The Dundalk Gardai (Ed Moloney, The Broken Elbow)

Previously: “Beyond Comprehension”

“There Was No Way They Were Going To Get Back”





Finglas (St. Canices & St. Margaret’s), Dublin Parish Priest Padraig Ó Cochláin.




No really?

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan responding today to The Smithwick Tribunal findings of Garda collusion with the IRA in the death of two RUC officers in 1989.


Via Fergal O’Brien Today FM


Earlier: “There Was No Way They Were Going To Get Back”



According to Toby Harnden’s ‘Bandit Country‘, the then RUC Chief Constable John Hermon (above) blamed Superintendent Bob Buchanan’s belief in predestination for his failure to take basic security measures.

The superintendent had been a lay preacher and member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

“The reason they died was so simple. There was no advance preparation, they just went. Bob Buchanan was a very devout Christian and he did not believe in taking precautions because God was in control. He did not follow basic, elementary security procedures. I still don’t understand why no one spotted he was going down there [Dundalk] so casually. By the time they left Dundalk, the place was swarming with IRA men and there was no way they were going to get back.”


From the Smithwick Report:

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Smithwick report findings ‘shocking’ – Taoiseach (RTE News)

Adams claims murdered RUC officers ‘laissez-faire’ over safety (Irish Times)

Photo: UPPA