Belfast Telegraph

Tribunal hears evidence on phone-tap of IRA man

The Smithwick Tribunal has heard testimony, behind closed doors, about the tapping of the phone of an IRA member.

It is also looking at whether the man received advanced warning about a search of his home.

The Dublin tribunal was established in 2005 to look at the circumstances surrounding the murders of two senior RUC officers, chief superintendent Harry Breen and superintendent Bob Buchanan, after visiting gardai in Dundalk, on 21 March 1989.

Tribunal barrister Mary Laverty SC said they were to hear evidence from a number of gardai over the search of an IRA member's home, in January 1990, looking for a forged passport.

Three former gardai, detective sergeant Owen Corrigan, sergeant Leo Colton and sergeant Finbarr Hickey, are being investigated by the tribunal. All three deny any allegations of wrongdoing.

The chairman said evidence related to a search of the home of a republican in January 1990, sometime after the murders had been committed and after Mr Corrigan had gone on sick leave.

The chairman said evidence should be heard in private as it related to the security of the state. He said the evidence could be very significant.

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