Intelligence linked garda to IRA killings


GARDA INTELLIGENCE reports linked a member of the Garda in Dundalk station with the murders of Northern Ireland judge Maurice Gibson as well as two senior RUC officers, the Smithwick Tribunal has heard.

The intelligence reports were outlined yesterday by Det Supt Brian Brunton. The reports showed that a short time after the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan of the RUC, the Garda had been told a member of the force in Dundalk had assisted the IRA in the killings.

One undated report linked the 1987 killing of Lord Justice Gibson with a leak of information to the IRA from a Garda source; while two separate reports linked a Garda source with facilitating the murders of the two RUC officers.

The two officers were killed on March 20th, 1989, in an IRA ambush in South Armagh minutes after they left a meeting with senior gardaí in Dundalk. Lord Justice Gibson had been killed in an IRA bomb attack shortly after his car crossed into Northern Ireland on the main Dublin to Newry road. Also included in Garda intelligence reports is a claim that by April 1989 the Garda had been told the names of the Provisional IRA members who planned and carried out the “operation”.

The tribunal was also told reports noted that Det Sgt Owen Corrigan of Dundalk Garda station was importing cars and had a business connection with a garage owner who had a conviction for arms offences. The intelligence reports also claimed Mr Corrigan had been a witness for the defence in a trial of the garage owner.

The tribunal earlier heard yesterday from former Garda commissioner Laurence Wren who said he had heard “rumours” about Mr Corrigan. But he said he had never heard rumours that a member of Dundalk gardaí was an IRA mole.

He agreed with counsel for the tribunal, Mary Laverty SC, that these rumours related to property owned by Mr Corrigan which included houses in Drogheda, Navan and Dundalk and a building site in Dundalk as well as a business selling imported cars.

Mr Corrigan who is legally represented at the tribunal has consistently denied he was the source of any collusion with the IRA.