The IRA could have staged the operation which led to the murders of two senior RUC officers in “an hour”, a former senior Garda has told the Smithwick Tribunal.
Peter Maguire, the former chief superintendent in charge of the Special Detective Unit, said the IRA had “about six operational officers” in place in south Armagh at any time.
Each was in charge of an active service unit, he said, and in total, there were 30 to 50 operational members in the area at any time.
He said that the IRA would have had the capacity to mount an operation in “an hour”.
He also rejected allegations that a former detective sergeant, Owen Corrigan, could have leaked information about the movements of senior RUC officers to the IRA.
The tribunal is looking at claims a Garda “mole” leaked information to the IRA leading to the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan as they returned from a meeting in Dundalk.