Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Ex-Real IRA boss McKevitt denies tip-off by police

Real IRA Leader Michael McKevitt has told a tribunal he did not receive a Garda tip-off before his home was searched
Real IRA Leader Michael McKevitt has told a tribunal he did not receive a Garda tip-off before his home was searched

Dissident republican Michael McKevitt has told the Smithwick Tribunal he had no contacts inside An Garda Siochana leaking him information.

The one-time Real IRA leader said he did not have a “friendly Garda” who warned him before a search of his home looking for a false passport in January 1990.

“Nobody tipped me off,” he told the inquiry during a brief hearing lasting less than 15 minutes in Dublin yesterday. “I don't recall getting any phone call like that ever,” McKevitt said.

The tribunal is looking at allegations that information leaked from Dundalk Garda station led to the deaths of two senior RUC officers on March 20, 1989.

The ongoing Smithwick Tribunal was set up to look at allegations of Garda collusion in the deaths of the two senior RUC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan, killed by the Provisional IRA in the 1989 ambush.

It was alleged in subsequent years that a policeman serving in the Irish Republic had leaked details of their movements to the IRA. At the time McKevitt was close to those behind the attack.

McKevitt was questioned about a search which took place on January 27, 1990, when gardai were looking for a false passport.

Nothing was found during the search.

Profile

Michael McKevitt (right), the ex-Real IRA leader, is serving a sentence in Portlaoise prison for directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation in 2003. The Louth native (62) was also sued by families of the Omagh bombing victims and found responsible for the atrocity. A £1.6m judgment was made against him and three others.

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