Smithwick Tribunal may hear evidence from Scappaticci

Sat, Dec 17, 2011, 00:00

FREDDIE SCAPPATICCI, the man who denies he was a British double agent in the IRA known as “Stakeknife”, may give evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal.

The tribunal was yesterday told Mr Scappaticci was in fact “Stakeknife”, regardless of his consistent public denials. Kevin Fulton, who worked as an informer for British security services after infiltrating the IRA in the Dundalk area in the 1980s, said Mr Scappaticci was a member of the IRA’s internal security, or “nutting squad”.

But in an occasionally heated exchange with Martin O’Rourke SC, counsel for Mr Scappaticci, Mr Fulton said it was “an actual fact” that “your client is an informer and he is Stakeknife”.

Following a break for lunch Mr Scappaticci’s legal team applied for additional legal representation. When tribunal chairman Judge Peter Smithwick asked if this meant Mr Scappaticci would make a statement and appear as a witness, he was told by the legal team that this was “under active consideration”.

Mr Fulton had earlier told the tribunal he also believed convicted IRA volunteer Patrick “Mooch” Blair was effectively another British agent who was “being protected by some state agency – North and South”.

Mr Fulton said Blair had made a bomb just days before the Omagh bombing and he believed this had in fact been the Omagh bomb. He and his M15 handlers had then decided to target Blair for arrest.

An elaborate sting involving the sale of £10 million worth of Viagra tablets was set up, but he said all his efforts to target Blair were thwarted, usually by police north and south of the Border.

He told Michael Durack SC, for the Garda, that he had been eventually told by his handler: “I am not to talk to you anymore.” Mr Fulton said he came to believe Blair was protected by State agencies and “walked on water” and was “more or less an agent”.

Mr Fulton – who is also known as Peter Keeley – has also alleged retired detective sergeant Owen Corrigan of Dundalk Garda station was an IRA mole in the Garda. But he agreed with Mr Durack that when he sought Garda help in securing “a financial package” from the British in 2002, he hadn’t mentioned any Garda-IRA collusion.

The tribunal is inquiring into suggestions of collusion between members of the Garda or other employees in the State in the murder of two RUC officers, Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan, in March 1989.