Silence on Garda-IRA collusion ‘damning indictment’ on Dublin


A terror victims’ spokesman has said that the refusal of the Irish government and police to comment on a BBC documentary about Garda-IRA collusion is “a damning indictment” of their attitudes.

Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United (IVU) was speaking after BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight documentary on Tuesday night.

It examined evidence recently unearthed by Dublin’s Smithwick Inquiry, which went far beyond the deaths of the two senior RUC officers murdered by the IRA in south Armagh it was tasked to probe.

Judge Peter Smithwick concluded that there had been Garda-IRA collusion in the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan.

But Spotlight has now asked if the evidence uncovered points to similar collusion in around a dozen other IRA murders on the border.

Mr Donaldson said: “The fact that no government minister, Garda representative or former Garda member was prepared to speak to BBC Spotlight in connection with the issues raised within the programme is a damning indictment of the attitudes prevailing within the Republic of Ireland establishment.

“The resignation of the Garda commissioner back in late March followed by the justice minister means that a dark cloud hangs over the criminal justice system within the Republic of Ireland.”

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said the Spotlight allegations “of Garda-IRA collusion in the 1987 killing of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife Cecily and others, on top of the Smithwick Tribunal’s finding of collusion by members of An Garda Síochána in the killing of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, are deeply troubling”.

The BBC information reinforces Amnesty’s call for a single mechanism to probe the Troubles, he said.

The Taoiseach and Garda had not offered any comment to the News Letter at the time of going to press.

Family calls for full inquiry

Trevor Clarke of Derg Valley Victims group said the Republic of Ireland government has persistently refused to meet the family of a man who was murdered with the help of a Garda intelligence file.

Spotlight highlighted the case of Castlederg man Ian Sproule, above, murdered by the IRA in 1991. Days afterwards the IRA gave a Garda intelligence file on Mr Sproule to a journalist and said they had killed him because the file named him as a UVF member – a claim denied by the family. An RUC witness told the Smithwick Inquiry there had been a leak from the Garda to the IRA.

Mr Clarke added: “Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks out for the Ballymurphy families and Pat Finucane yet even right up until today the Republic of Ireland government refuses to meet with the Sproule family. That is why they now call for a full independent inquiry.”