Callinan: any garda who helped IRA betrayed force

Shatter describes Adam’s remarks about the double RUC murder as ‘nauseating’

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams speaks in the Dail on the fallout from the Smithwick Tribunal report

Wed, Dec 4, 2013, 19:29

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said he is “horrified” by revelations from the Smithwick Tribunal that there was collusion between members of the force and the Provisional IRA.

Mr Callinan said the findings of the report that gardaí in Dundalk Garda station passed information to the IRA which may have lead to the deaths of RUC superintendent Bob Buchanan and chief superintendent Harry Breen were “beyond belief”.

Speaking for the first time since the report was published yesterday, Mr Callinan described the Provisional IRA as a “terrorist organisation” and said any garda who assisted them had betrayed the force.

“I know I speak on behalf of every member of the force. It was a betrayal,” he said.

Mr Callinan said people should not lose sight of the fact that members of the force had risked their lives combating the IRA.

But he said it was a source of “intense disappointing for me as the commissioner to learn that on the balance of probability that people in my organisation betrayed us.”

However, he defended gardaí against allegations contained in the report that they were more interested in defending the reputation of the force than giving truthful evidence to the tribunal.

“I have read those comments. I have to say that the police force that is described is not the police force that I lead,” he said.

“Everything we do An Garda Síochána is designed to establish the truth. An Garda Síochána seeks to establish the truth. That is our raison d’être and that will continue to be the case.”

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter described Sinn Féin president Gerry Adam’s remarks about the double murder as “nauseating”.

Mr Adams said this morning that the men had taken a “laissez faire” attitude to their own safety.

Speaking with Mr Callinan at a press conference in Farmleigh House in Dublin this afternoon, Mr Shatter pointed to sections in the report relating to Mr Adams.

The Minister said Mr Adams had appeared at an event in Crossmaglen shortly after the double shooting when a man wearing a hood gave an explanation for the murders.

Mr Shatter said it was “very unlikely” Mr Adams did not know more about what happened to the two men.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for a full Dáil debate on the report and also criticised Mr Adams over his statement about the two murdered RUC.

He said the statement should be withdrawn and it almost by implication blamed the officers themselves for their killing.

Mr Adams responded that his public statement reflected the views of the Smithwick report. He described the two RUC officers as brave men doing their duty as they saw it in the same way that the IRA did their duty as they saw it.

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