Belfast Telegraph

Inquiry being fed lies, say Provos

IRA terror bosses have claimed that false information is being fed to a collusion inquiry into the deaths of two senior RUC officers to bring it to an end.

Intelligence documents from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said Provisional (PIRA) chiefs believe false testimony is being given at the Smithwick Tribunal to ensure it wraps up investigations quickly.

Provo leaders fear that the longer the inquiry runs, the more information it will uncover about collusion involving gardai and customs officers.

A precis read by PSNI detective chief superintendent Roy McComb alleged that since the 1970s a number of gardai and customs officers based in the Republic have provided information to the Provos, particularly forewarning of searches and arrests.

A document, dated June 2009, maintained that former Garda sergeant Finbarr Hickey "was responsible for the passing of information to PIRA, which resulted in the murder of Chief Superintendent (Harry) Breen and Superintendent (Bob) Buchanan", but the informer later denied giving the information.

The disgraced Garda - who was jailed for the production of false passports - denies the allegation.

The Smithwick Tribunal is investigating allegations of Garda collusion over the IRA murders of senior RUC officers Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan on the Irish border in 1989, minutes after a Garda meeting.

Three named gardai - retired detective garda sergeant Owen Corrigan and former sergeants Leo Colton and Finbarr Hickey - deny any collusion.

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