SMITHWICK TRIBUNAL RESTARTS IN DUBLIN

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan murder in 1989 by IRA

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan murder in 1989 by IRA

THE public inquiry into allegations of Garda collusion in the IRA murders of two senior RUC officers is to resume in Dublin on Tuesday.

The Smithwick Tribunal is investigating claims that Gardai colluded with the IRA gang who shot dead the two RUC officers in 1989.

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan died in an ambush in south Armagh shortly after they left a meeting at Dundalk garda station.

The meeting was discuss cross border issues, including smuggling by the IRA’s south Armagh commander Tom ‘Slab’ Murphy.

Up to 20 members of Murphy’s south Armagh/north Louth IRA brigade were involved in the ambush.

The Smithwick Tribunal was set up in 2005 and initialy started private investigations the following year.

However, it wasn’t until 2011 that it held its first public hearings, taking evidence from a broad range of witnesses.

The Smithwick Tribunal was one of several public inquiries set up following the recommendations of retired Canadian judge, Peter Cory, in his 2003 report to the British and Irish governments.

Mr Cory was appointed to examine claims of police and state collusion in a series of controversial Troubles killings, and was asked to decide in each case if an inquiry was necessary.

The scene in 1989 after Bob Buchanan's Vauxhall Cavalier car was ambushed by the IRA

The scene in 1989 after Bob Buchanan’s Vauxhall Cavalier car was ambushed by the IRA

The cases included the murders of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, Catholic man Robert Hamill, Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright and Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

Of the cases Judge Cory examined, the Smithwick Tribunal was the only one he recommended should take place in the Republic of Ireland.

The inquiry is being chaired by Judge Peter Smithwick.

It was due to conclude in November 2011, but has been granted a number of extensions by the Irish government.

 

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