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Smithwick Tribunal: ‘Jealous’ officers linked Garda to collusion

June 4, 2013

A former Garda sergeant has told the Smithwick Tribunal that former RUC officers were “jealous” at not being included in his meetings with a small group of RUC officers and claimed this led to them linking him to collusion with the IRA.

Owen Corrigan, who was in charge of Garda security along the Louth border, was giving evidence during the closing days of the tribunal which is investigating alleged collusion in the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan in south Armagh in 1989.

The RUC officers were on their way home from a secret meeting with senior Gardai officials in Dundalk Garda station when they drove into an IRA ambush on the Edenappa Road, near Jonesborough.

Mr Corrigan also said he believed the allegations of collusion between Garda and the IRA were the British government’s response to similar claims of state collusion made by the Irish government in the loyalist murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

He told the tribunal that he was always “totally opposed” to RUC officers travelling across the border, because of the IRA threat and the level of subversive activity in the area at the time.

He said, Bob Buchanan’s strong Christian faith led him to believe he would come to no harm.

The tribunal concluded its public sittings last Friday.

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