Garda Commssioner says no inquiry justified into Smithwick claim of collusion in IRA murders

Callinan says he does not accept the force in the current era was one that valued loyalty to a colleague above the truth

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan: stressed the report would take some time to review in full

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan: stressed the report would take some time to review in full

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00


Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said that the force had been “devastated” at the findings of the Smithwick tribunal that gardaí had colluded in the IRA murders of two RUC officers but that it had yet to find any specific information that would warrant a Garda investigation.

He stressed the report, which runs to 1,600 pages and came after eight years of tribunal work, would take some time to review in full.

However, on the basis of the review he and his officers had carried out thus far, he could find nothing to warrant a Garda investigation into the findings of collusion.

“It is on the balance of probabilities that the Smithwick tribunal found a person or persons unknown to have colluded with the IRA and I have already expressed my horror that such a finding could be found,” he said.


No direct evidence
However, the tribunal had detailed no direct evidence against any named Garda members. In the past, specific findings made against named gardaí by previous tribunals have been investigated by the Garda.

“I do not for the moment see anything there,” the commissioner said when asked if any of the report’s findings warranted investigation.


Garda College
He made his comments yesterday afternoon while speaking to the media at a passing-out ceremony for Garda reservists in the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary. The tribunal’s final report was published last week and concluded there had been collusion between the IRA and Garda members based at Dundalk Garda station in the 1989 murders in south Armagh of RUC Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan.

The murdered men had just left a meeting in Dundalk station and were travelling home by car when ambushed. The commissioner has already accepted the general finding of the tribunal that collusion, unspecified in nature and not traced to particular Garda members, had occurred.

However, he said yesterday he did not accept the tribunal’s findings that the force in the current era was one that valued loyalty to a colleague above telling the truth.